Wednesday, August 20, 2008
The Saddleback Church Forum
Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, CA. Pastor Rick Warren
The consensus among conservatives is that John McCain greatly outshone Barack Obama last week in the event at Lake Forest's Saddleback Church. Wishful thinking on our part? I really don't think so.
In a general sense, I have to say that McCain came across as decisive, whereas Obama, minus his teleprompter, tended to meander his way through his responses, as he typically does. McCain demonstrated that he knows what he believes. Obama probably does too, but there is the suspicion that he is trying to walk a middle line to appeal to the greatest number of voters.
To be more specific, Obama handled the fetus question badly, as many others have already pointed out. When asked by Pastor Rick Warren at what point does (an unborn child) have human rights, Obama couldn't answer. His now-famous non-answer was a wandering reference to the scientific and theological implications of the question ended by an admission that the answer was "above my pay grade". (Excuse me, Sir, but if you are President of the United States, no one will be above your pay grade.) McCain, on the other hand, answered unequivocally, "At the moment of conception."
Obama also stepped in it over the "ideal Supreme Court judge" issue. When asked who he would not have nominated to the Supreme Court, he listed Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia. While acknowledging Scalia's superb legal mind, Obama took a shot at Thomas in challenging his legal expertise and qualifications for the job.
What is that old saying about living in glass houses? How does Obama question the qualifications of Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court without reminding voters of one of his own biggest problems-the question of his qualifications for president?
In his answer, McCain listed the 4 top liberals on the Supreme Court (Breyer, Ginsburg, Stevens and Souter). For a conservative, that should be music to our ears and accentuates the importance of judicial appointments in this election.
Kudos to Pastor Warren in drawing up the questions and designing the format. One can question the idea of having such an event in a church, but both candidates participated. Personally, I don't think it is objectionable since the religious community has the same right to participate in the political process as anyone else.
This last observation may, indeed, be wishful thinking, but I see a downward trend for Obama. Perhaps, it is a case of too much exposure too soon, added to details coming out regarding his past and his associations. I also think the European trip turned off a lot of Americans-especially the appearance in Berlin.
I have made this comment before, but it bears repeating. Smooth talkers like Obama can talk their way in the front door-and talk their way right out the back.