Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Saddleback Forum

I couldn't watch it. Sorry. Not only am I uncomfortable with a religious leader questioning Presidential candidates, but I can't stand the pandering and the obfuscation of answers.

But I can't stand it, so I go to (video there as well) who was liveblogging it, and I have to say I am impressed with the one question on abortion that Rick Warren asked. You see, the question is alway posed from the women's point of view and never asked from the child's point of view. I have to give credit to Rick Warren (who I am not such a big fan of) to actually ask the question that I might have asked and never thought anyone would. I think it threw Obama a bit:

Warren: Abortion …. 40 million abortions. At what point does a baby get human rights?

Obama: Can’t answer question with specificity is above my pay grade. Let me speak more generally about abortion. One thing I’m convinced of is there is a moral and ethical issue to this issue.
I am pro-choice, not because I’m pro-abortion, but because women don’t make these choices lightly. They wrestle with these choices. How do we reduce the number of abortions?

Above my pay grade? You mean God? Is that suppose to be funny? Good Lord. The slave owners probably were asked the same question. "When do slaves get human rights?" "I don't know, that's above my pay grade, guess God will have to decide that while I fight for the right of slave owners to decide."

Obama lost the evangelicals with that answer. As well he should.

McCain ends with this:

Warren: Why do you want to be President?

McCain: I want to inspire a generation of Americans to serve a cause greater than their self interests. Our best days are ahead, but we still face challenges as evidenced by the events in Georgia. American wants hope and optimism. I want to work with all Americans to put our differences aside and work on our great nation. He will be the President of every American and he’ll always put his country first.

This will be why he wins.

Warren: What would you say to ppl about this forum?

McCain: I want to participate in every venue available. I’m happy to be here in your church.

This is a slam at Obama for not agreeing to particpate in townhall meetings with McCain.

From the reactions I am reading on the net so far, McCain is doing a wonderful job. He is bringing over those Republicans who were mad at him.

The difference in McCain and Obama in this forum is that Obama is saying what he thinks he needs to and McCain says what he believes. Like it or not. With McCain what you see is what you get.

Update: I always like to sneak over on the left side and see what the commenters there are saying to get a perspective. Here are some telling comments from Talkleft. Now, make no mistake many were critical of McCain on the social issues, but I have to say I was surprised by the following comments from liberals:

Have a women's forum.This is annoying. McCain is doing much better. And he is a freaking right-wing insanity.

this is what happens when Democrats try to pander to the right religious can't win...I don't know why the Obama campaign refuses to understanding this. Sitting in a religious forum, you simply cannot win by saying you support choice...just isn't going to happen.

...This whole thing seems loaded in favor of the religious-right agenda.
Although McCain doesn't necessarily support the religious-right agenda 100 percent, he's the best thing they've got.
Therefore, Warren is lobbing him softballs.
Obama ought to have his head examined for getting involved in this.
My opinion only.

They would have been softballs for Obama too if he had an actual stance on issues -- but he wants to play it all ways and be for all sides and it makes any question a hardball question.

Why couldn't he just answer some of these questions honestly? Everything had to have a "qualified" answer with Obama.

Seriously, if Obama had firm answers to questions, these would have been easy for him to answer too.

Watching McCain now. I disagree with him over and over and over again, but there is no waffling in his answers. He is short, to the point, and is saying what he means...there is no doubt that he is against choice, that he likes alito and roberts, that he doesn't want gay people to have equal rights. Thus, I will never vote for him.
BUT, I think he is doing very well in terms of likability. Just watching this, I don't feel the kind of disgust that I felt watching President Bush. I disagree with him, but I appreciate that he is making it crystal clear for me that I can't vote for him. It makes me like him as a human being more. And if there are independent or undecided voters out there who don't feel especially strongly about abortion rights or gay rights or some of these other social issues that were brought up, I think McCain has helped himself.

McCain said his first marriage was his biggest moral failure. Obama was not specific instead talked about how his mother taught him to treat others as you would want to be treated.
McCain's humor is a surprise to me.

But from what I've heard about McCain he answers the same way even if it ticks everybody off. He doesn't seem to really care if people like or don't like his answers. It's what he believes. This is why his positions on illegal immigration and affirmative action programs get so many people upset.
He is who he is

Update II: I did watch the repeat last night. It's hard for me to be objective, but Obama did well and got much applause, he just seemed to not have the experience McCain has. Obama's regret was doing drugs in high school and McCain's was about his POW experience. It just illustrates the bigger world view McCain has just for virtue of living longer and knowing the world better. Obama says the three people he trusts are his wife, grandmother, and Sam Nunn. Personal choices that a younger person would make. But McCain answered with Generals and a CEO. It's just the difference in life experience.

They both did well though. Obama was thoughtful and charming. But McCain was sincere and seemed more sure of his answers and he said all the right things for me.