McCain v. Obama at the Saddleback Church Civic Forum
Posted by Ryan on August 17, 2008
Last evening, the evangelical mega-church, Saddleback Church, had a “civic forum” with the candidates to discuss issues Pastor Rick Warren wished to hear about. It was not a debate in the usual sense. The format was excellent: about 50 minutes a piece, one candidate at a time using the same questions with the same audience for roughly the same amount of time without hearing how the other responded. On a coin flip, Obama went first followed by McCain.
There is a sense that McCain looked strong and decisive, while Obama looked measured and at ease. I didn’t watch the whole thing. I popped in here and there. I thought McCain looked good and answered with authority. Everyone knows Obama can speak, so McCain’s performance beat the lowered expectations… that concept helped get Bush two terms! McCain’s not my favorite politician (even slightly misquoting Reagan’s “[take] down this wall!” remark), but he did not hurt himself at all in this event. In fact, I agree with those who say that he even won.
Much of the “analysis” afterwards on the cable networks dealt with the potential gaffes. In my opinion, Obama had the biggest gaffe of the night on the issue of abortion: he really did utter the phrase “above my pay-grade” in response to a question about his opinion as to when unborn babies should get legal protection? I guess until he’s President, right, then he’ll be paid enough? The Empty Suit strikes again!
What a ridiculous answer and one which will hurt him with evangelicals and pro-life Catholics! To all those who doubt: life begins at conception — that’s not a political opinion or a moral issue, it’s a scientific fact. That is a premise on which we all should agree. Politics and policy come next and everyone’s opinion matters. McCain handled it right and his pro-life beliefs make him the choice for evangelicals in this election. Obama will not sway the one-issue pro-life voters into voting for Obama-style social welfare (which they like), when Obama is openly pro-choice.
LA Times photo.