By Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Surrounded by security to rival a presidential appearance, former US secretary of state Colin Powell made a stop in Philadelphia today, speaking at the Free Library of Philadelphia about his new book on leadership.

The retired US Army general and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during two Bush presidencies, Powell acknowledged he has been peppered with questions this week about the 2012 presidential race and his endorsement of President Obama’s campaign in 2008.

Powell says he is a private citizen now and wants to “isten to both sides, examine not only the individuals but what policies are they going to be following in the future, what the assistants are liable to be working with them, what’s the platform of the two parties?  On that basis, I’m starting a book tour, not a political campaign, so I didn’t feel any obligation to make a public endorsement.”

Photos were not permitted at the library event.

Powell’s book, out this week, is, It Worked for Me, In Life and Leadership.