One way to gauge the judgment of a potential president is to look at who they listen to for advice. By that measure, Mitt Romney seems suspect.

Mitt should have called Nancy Reagan as a reference check on John Sununu, an arrogant bully, who was fired by a president who really hated firing people. Mr. Sununu has been largely absent from public life for 20 years, but Mitt Romney took him out of mothballs and installed him as co-chair of his campaign. His reward? Last night, Sununu said he thought Colin Powell’s second endorsement of Obama for a second time is based on racial affinity. Sununu quickly reversed field, but it will remain one of the more infamous statements of this campaign, although somewhat overwhelmed by the fog of the campaign’s frenzied final days.

In addition to its most obvious offense, Sununu’s statement ignores a real and more interesting reason that Colin Powell may have endorsed the president again: Mitt Romney’s foreign policy advisors. Mr. Powell’s sterling career was sullied by his association with the neocons of the George W. Bush administration who led the inexperienced president into war. The Powell doctrine, which called for the measured use of U.S. power, had wisely guided Republican presidents and aspirants for many years, and was trampled on in the rush to war.  Now, some of the same architects of the “Bush doctrine” of preemptive war are advising Romney. Powell wants none of that, and neither should America.