Rick Warren Open Thread

Pastor Rick Warren* is interviewing Barack Obama and John McCain this evening, asking each candidate roughly the same set of questions for an hour each. Obama first. One of Warren's questions asked about the contrast between the investment America makes in its educational system and the investment it makes in its "we're number one!" prison system. Disappointingly, Obama gave a fine (to me) answer on education while ignoring the "prison nation" aspect of the question entirely. I expect John McCain to do the same (although McCain's take on education may be less reasonable).

Here's a place to weigh in for those of you who have nothing better to do on a Saturday night than to watch the candidates chat with Rick Warren. Follow the rules please, particularly with regard to insults.

Update: McCain, when asked the same question, praised "choice and competition," home schooling, and charter schools. Like Obama, McCain ducked the part of the question that quietly damned the American imprisonment rate. McCain channeled his answers to well rehearsed excerpts from stump speeches, complete with frequent insertions of "my friends" into his answers. He played well to the crowd. Obama held his own, I think, but McCain's performance was the crowd favorite, my friends. [more ...]

By the way update: McCain expressly lodged his disapproval of Ginsberg, Breyer, Souter, and Stevens while giving love to Alito and Roberts. Kennedy, we would have to think, is on shaky ground on McCain's list of Supreme Court favorites.


* A link to an interesting piece of writing is not necessarily an endorsement of its author.

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  • Obama not doing so well (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by robrecht on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 07:57:58 PM EST
    He's not so good on his feet.  Starts his canned answers without really thinking about them.  Marriage is between a man and a woman.  Not so strong on pro-choice for late term.  Still won't vote for McCain.

    Ouch he blew it both ways on marriage equality (5.00 / 0) (#16)
    by catfish on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:24:56 PM EST
    You need to avoid saying explicitly it's between a man and a woman. And avoid saying "god is in the mix." Unless you truly are against same-sex marriage, in which case you should avoid saying "it's up to the states to decide."

    A trifecta answer. Wonder what Andrew Sullivan will say?


    you are wrong (none / 0) (#32)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:35:21 PM EST
    there are plenty of churches that believe that God loves gay marriage.

    But if you are going to say it's between a man (none / 0) (#37)
    by catfish on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:38:23 PM EST
    and a woman, then please don't seal it by saying because God says so. Or please don't say "God is in the mix" if you say it's between a man and a woman.

    Skilled Dems, and Hillary has talked this way in recent years, need to deftly talk about same-sex marriage to leave the doors open for it.


    What Obama said was that he was in favor of (5.00 / 0) (#86)
    by robrecht on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:12:03 PM EST
    limiting late term abortions except when it's a matter of the health of the mother.  He's also in favor of making abortions less frequent by reducing unwanted pregnancies.  I respect your opinion against abortion, but am offended by your calling Obama a savage.  Find a better way to communicate your views if you want to influence the opinions of others.

    Oh Lordy...... (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by Maria Garcia on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:22:01 PM EST
    ....hope you feel better getting all that off your chest cause that's about all that rant was good for.

    Heh (5.00 / 2) (#119)
    by cawaltz on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:30:57 PM EST
    Yeah, don't you know women go through months of puking, swelling and having the vitamins leached from our bodies just so we can experience a late term abortion. Talk to me when you take the time to educate yourself on why a woman would get a late term abortion and how often it occurs before you mouth off.

    sexist troll (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:44:14 PM EST
    Are you a physician? (none / 0) (#98)
    by standingup on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:19:22 PM EST
    Just where do you get your information?  And please drop the "you liberals" if you want to have a rational discussion with us.

    Of course not! (5.00 / 2) (#116)
    by tree on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:28:41 PM EST
    Anyone who thinks that the vagina is where the baby is born doesn't know what he is talking about, and anyone who thinks you can pull the feet past the head while they are both in the vagina has a seriously delusional sense of anatomy. Not surprising though.

    Good on Clarence Thomas, Scalia, Roberts (5.00 / 0) (#2)
    by robrecht on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:00:29 PM EST

    Don't plan on watching, so I'm looking forward (5.00 / 0) (#4)
    by stefystef on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:05:45 PM EST
    to reading everyone's comments.  Please be nice to Rev. Warren.  I visited his church a couple of years ago, it was a nice experience.

    Christianity lite, but had a message that was positive flow.

    Love to hear your thoughts folks.  Bring 'em on.

    Same here (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:19:03 PM EST
    I'm switching between the Olympics and Legally Blonde II. I'll be reading comments though, and thanks to TChris for posting this thread.

    It is one of the best (5.00 / 0) (#34)
    by samtaylor2 on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:36:41 PM EST
    Discussion I have seen.  Outside of the first part it is not religious, and the relgious part was not overbearing.

    From what I heard, (5.00 / 0) (#5)
    by brodie on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:06:11 PM EST
    he handled the questions well and with occasional humor.

    Might well have made a good personal impression on the crowd and evangelicals watching and scoring at home.  Primarily these folks got the opportunity  to see that he was indeed a Christian and not a Muslim, a straightforward family guy, and wasn't some scary lefty-left liberal who would take away their church's tax-exempt status.

    When a church (5.00 / 0) (#21)
    by chel2551 on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:28:50 PM EST
    overstteps its bounds, it's cettainly not the president's job to make sure it loses its tax-exempt status.

    And "lefty-left liberal"?

    That's funny.

    You continue to make Obama look bad.


    Wow. McCain just can't (5.00 / 0) (#11)
    by brodie on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:21:24 PM EST
    stop bringing up his VN POW experience for political gain.  

    This is getting to be as unseemly and ridiculous as Rudy and 9/11.

    But after his recent "stretcher" about supposedly naming the names of the Steelers defense during captivity, the one he told about while in PA, I wonder if this latest story with the convenient religious angle is just as fabricated ...

    Can't be! (5.00 / 0) (#15)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:24:03 PM EST
    McCain is reluctant to talk about his POW experience.

    McCain is funnier (5.00 / 5) (#29)
    by Grace on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:34:15 PM EST
    and a more animated speaker than Obama is -- but his positions here sound really faaaaaaar to the right.  Way out there in right field.  

    He's handling the tax and wealth issue right now and I think he is doing much better on this than Obama did.  

    I liked his quip about not getting "Miss Congeniality" in the US Senate.  (Question about going against your own party.)


    I agree (5.00 / 4) (#38)
    by nell on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:38:55 PM EST
    I wrote an assessment below, but I also agree.

    He is way far right here, against abortion, against gay marriage, but he is being clear about it. You know where he stands, like it or hate it, there is no waffling.

    He is also coming across as funny and human. I chucked a few times.

    As I say below, I didn't see Obama so no comment there.


    I agree with you (none / 0) (#33)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:36:37 PM EST
    Are you kidding (5.00 / 0) (#39)
    by samtaylor2 on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:38:56 PM EST
    His definition of rich is 5 million.  His non answer followed by no taxes is why most of us are getting screwed and this country is going down the tubes

    I agreed that (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:49:50 PM EST
    his [positions are waaaay far to the right and that the questions are perfect for him.

    Also, he is more personable and straightforward than Obama.


    It surprises me to hear you say that because (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by Teresa on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:57:46 PM EST
    you are an Obama supporter from the beginning if I remember correctly. I'm taping it...does McCain really seem more personable? Obama needs to learn to take himself less seriously and loosen up.

    I can support Obama (5.00 / 3) (#96)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:18:45 PM EST
    and still have an objective opinion about performance.

    I thought Mccain's answers in essence were horrible. But his delivery was better because he spoke to the audience, and Obama spoke to the interviewer.


    Certainly he is very straightforward (none / 0) (#61)
    by samtaylor2 on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:56:08 PM EST
    I don't think he is more personable (I don't know if that is my support of him or my dislike of McCain?)    

    His straightforwardness is what bugs me


    He spoke to the audience (5.00 / 2) (#95)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:17:22 PM EST
    whereas Obama spoke to the interviewer.

    Obama needs to change that, luckily that is pretty easy to change.


    He did do that (5.00 / 0) (#111)
    by samtaylor2 on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:26:06 PM EST
    This was a good warm up for the fututre debates.  I think Obama did a good job for the audience.  The major fear about the up coming debates is the war stories.  It is not that McCain is a great debater, but that he has the best grandfather story alive- that is just plane hard to beat.

    Actually (none / 0) (#43)
    by AlSmith on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:40:59 PM EST
    From my understanding of his bio, the POW experience is relevant for these faith questions. Maybe he could let it drop after that though ;-)

    I wish I wasnt stuck working because Obama's answer on his road to Damascus experience should be fascinating and contains many potential pitfalls. Hell, even how he addresses his step father's faith is a mine field.


    McCain is a pro-life president (5.00 / 0) (#12)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:23:29 PM EST
    and hedges on the stem-cell research question by saying the "skin cell" technology is the answer.

    Just hearing McCain and the applause (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by MichaelGale on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:23:38 PM EST
    in re gay marriage and abortion, I am wondering if this was a good decision to appear here.

    I know. (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:26:41 PM EST
    The left should have Gloria Steinem host a second one of these.

    Oh, I'd much rather it be (none / 0) (#41)
    by MichaelGale on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:40:16 PM EST
    the ACLU or Rick Santorum Or how about Jay Z?

    I totally agree (none / 0) (#47)
    by ajain on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:43:08 PM EST
    Have a women's forum.
    This is annoying. McCain is doing much better. And he is a freaking right-wing insanity.

    Well (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by nell on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:51:24 PM EST
    this is what happens when Democrats try to pander to the right religious wingnuts...you 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.

    When you accept God (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:16:04 PM EST
    All kinds of abominations are justified, including killing innocent civilians during war and electrocuting people.

    Your comments are a parody of self-righteousness and hypocrisy.


    You work hard against the death penalty I (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Teresa on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:16:48 PM EST

    Rick Warren is not a right wing religious nut (5.00 / 2) (#93)
    by mogal on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:16:57 PM EST
    Perhaps not your typical knuckle- (none / 0) (#113)
    by brodie on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:26:51 PM EST
    dragging RW Preacher, sure, and yes he has a much more pleasant and likable personality than some of those other frauds of the cloth, but he does have some problems with gays apparently.  

    And despite some lip service paid to the notion of being more pro-"whole life" rather than just being concerned about the pre-born, he does tend, ultimately, to be harshly judgmental about those public figures who support abortion rights.

    Oh, and then there's his view that only those who believe in Christ -- i.e. Christians -- can get to Heaven.   Jews, Muslims and others of the wrong religious beliefs will be going elsewhere apparently.


    This is why liberals are a turn-off (5.00 / 3) (#131)
    by Upstart Crow on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:34:43 PM EST
    "Perhaps not your knuckle-dragging RW Preacher, sure, and yes he has a much more pleasant and likable personality than some of those other frauds of the cloth..."

    I always considered myself a liberal, but when I read comments like the above, and the nasty, bigoted comments liberals make while feeling themselves higher and more righteous than otherpeople... well, I have to reconsider.


    debate (none / 0) (#193)
    by bobbski on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:47:49 PM EST
    ¨Oh, and then there's his view that only those who believe in Christ -- i.e. Christians -- can get to Heaven.   Jews, Muslims and others of the wrong religious beliefs will be going elsewhere apparently.¨

    Jews don´t believe in a heaven or a hell.


    But he is very Republican (none / 0) (#114)
    by MKS on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:28:29 PM EST
    and the questions were all framed from a Republican--rich, white, Orange County Republican--perspective.

    I was thinking it might be different.  It wasn't.


    I agree (5.00 / 0) (#112)
    by MKS on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:26:37 PM EST
    And, I thought it might  be different.

    It was a very rich, very white, very Republican Orange County audience....Rick Warren joked that 150k a year was middle class or poor in Orange County.

    Warren was asking questions about tax policy framed in a very Republican way.  



    I kind of suspected it was a Repubican.... (none / 0) (#147)
    by Maria Garcia on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:47:03 PM EST
    ...trap, which is why I didn't bother to watch.

    That would be awesome (none / 0) (#156)
    by samtaylor2 on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:54:36 PM EST
    But is there a women or a womens group that both republicans and democrats would want to reach their audience so they would go on?  This question is sincerely asked.

    I wish (5.00 / 3) (#181)
    by Nadai on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:16:26 PM EST
    they'd go back to the League of Women Voters for the debates.  Those were mostly thoughtful and substantive.

    The female demographic is (none / 0) (#161)
    by cawaltz on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:00:24 PM EST
    a pretty reliable group of voters so you'd figure they would.

    Obama is a good enough speaker, but... (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by rdandrea on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:23:49 PM EST
    ...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.

    I agree. (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:26:01 PM EST
    they are getting asked (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by TruthMatters on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:29:37 PM EST
    the EXACT same questions.

    Questions that are softballs for McCain (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by rdandrea on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:33:56 PM EST

    They would have been softballs (4.50 / 8) (#42)
    by Grace on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:40:27 PM EST
    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.    


    welcome to (5.00 / 4) (#49)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:47:03 PM EST
    the democratic party.

    frustrating, isn't it?


    Very frustrating (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Grace on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:10:53 PM EST
    I even got rated a 1 for even posting that.  ;-)

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


    They are questions that concern conservatives (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:34:22 PM EST
    by and large.

    Some of the questions (none / 0) (#57)
    by Grace on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:52:38 PM EST
    like "Who are the three smartest people you know?" (or whatever it was) -- that's a thought-provoking question.  

    Obama said Michelle, his grandmother and Teddy Kennedy.  


    I cant believe my ears. (none / 0) (#176)
    by laila on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:12:06 PM EST
    I must have watched a different forum because I didn't see the maverick.  I saw a right wing crazy that may have had the crowd at the church but NO he will not have the majority of American voters.  Particularly women.  I was not impressed with his answer about why he is a Christian.  I mean the man didn't mention "Jesus the whole time" and that is who he believes in?  He didn't tell us how he really lives for God it was a total scam.  But of course the right heard what they wanted.  I know this guy is not the believer he plays at.  I know that he is just a mysoginist and has no real respect for women and I know that even though the election maybe close this is a democrat year.  Defeat evil?  Well...of all the self-righteous, hypocrites who outright lies....Ok that was my rant.  The religious right wing bothers me...

    I can't believe! (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by Bluesage on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:31:18 PM EST
    These two are our choices.  For the first time in 40 years I have no one to vote for even if I hold my nose.  With either one of these guys we will get what we deserve and it isn't much.  Thanks a lot to the "New" Democratic Party.  Ugh!!

    My friends, (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by talesoftwokitties on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:34:07 PM EST
    I ain't ever voting for McCain.

    I know. (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:37:28 PM EST
    Maverick, my ass.

    Missed Obama, Watching McCain (5.00 / 5) (#35)
    by nell on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:37:08 PM EST
    I missed Obama, so I have no idea how he did.

    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.

    Sorry, long winded answer.

    My wife said the same thing (5.00 / 7) (#44)
    by samtaylor2 on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:41:28 PM EST
    She said "I can really imagine sitting down and having a meal with this guy."  Then Warrne asked when does life start, and McCain answered "At conception."  My wife then said, "Dinner's over"

    Yep, the takeaway for me (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by brodie on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:51:28 PM EST
    for McCain so far is Life starts at conception, Rich starts at $5 mill.  

    Other key takeaway moments:  Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan.  

    Did I tell you, my friends, that I was once a heroic POW?

    We need to continue the War on Terra.

    No more legislating from the Bench.

    Ronald Reagan.

    Let me tell you a story, my friends, when I was a POW  ...


    Conservative 4 judges good (5.00 / 0) (#68)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:58:15 PM EST
    Liberal judges bad.

    Kennedy not mentioned. If he was really the mav he claims he would like Kennedy


    I promise you I didn't (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by samtaylor2 on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:52:49 PM EST
    Flunk Bio 101.  No where in embrology is there even a hint as to when "life begins".  But if you want to get into a debate about this science we can do that?

    actually cells are all alive (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:54:35 PM EST
    therefore sperm and egg are also life.

    And isn't our hair made up (none / 0) (#73)
    by Jjc2008 on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:03:06 PM EST
    of human cells.  Some anti choice guy was trying to convince him that life begins at birth because they were living cells.  So I asked about the egg and sperm.  Aren't they living cells.  So every time a guy releases his swimmers isn't that like "mass murder?"  And if my hair and skill are living cells isn't amputation or a hair cut like murder??????

    What is the definition life anyway?  


    Seriously (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by nell on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:07:01 PM EST
    if you oppose abortion on the grounds that dividing cells are "life" then don't ever seek chemotherapy treatment should you need it which seeks to obliterate all those dividing cells...

    I realize that there are other dimensions of life, and I understand that people can believe that abortion is wrong. Personally, as a health professional, I think it's a health decision, a woman's choice, and a woman's choice alone. But if a woman feels that she could never have one, fine, just don't legislate beliefs about health on everyone.


    or think about taking antibiotics (none / 0) (#138)
    by cawaltz on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:36:58 PM EST
    Ahhhhhhhhhhhh the murder of all those poor,  good and innocent bacteria. It's a tragedy!

    life has (none / 0) (#85)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:11:40 PM EST

    or some subset of these.

    There is no universally accepted definition, but these are major factors.


    Interesting you mention that (none / 0) (#118)
    by samtaylor2 on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:30:13 PM EST
    The sin of spreading your seed without purpose is actually one of the few times that the old testament actually talks about the sins of sexual activity.  Much of the other stuff is "implied"

    Um, not so black and white (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by nell on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:56:31 PM EST
    Well if you want a biological perspective, "life" does not begin at the moment of conception. At conception, cells divide when a sperm and an egg come together, but there is nothing about those cells at that stage that make it anymore of a life than say the red or white blood cells that are constantly dividing in your body...those cells could not survive outside of the mother's body, therefore they are not "alive" on their own...

    Now if you and I were to get into a debate about when during the pregnancy it becomes a "life" that is a different issue, but it is certainly not "life" in any self-sustaining way at the moment of conception, at least biologically. What you believe with faith, religion, etc, is separate from what is happening biologically, which is cell division.


    A million dead Iraqis... (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by Dadler on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:59:41 PM EST
    ...would tell you ours is quite the culture obssessed with killing innocent and already born people.

    So, since you, like all of us with very few exceptions, have enabled that mass murder, does that mean you have turned your back on God?

    Or is it only other people's poop that stinks?

    I think I know the answer.


    Are you for real? (none / 0) (#75)
    by Jjc2008 on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:03:54 PM EST
    Or is this snark???

    Your wife just made me laugh out loud. (none / 0) (#198)
    by Matt in Chicago on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:57:19 PM EST
    We won the cold war without firing a shot (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by samtaylor2 on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:42:46 PM EST
    Did he suddenly forget the war he was held captive in?

    Not the same war (none / 0) (#62)
    by Grace on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:56:28 PM EST
    The cold war and the Vietnam War were not the same war.  

    McCain was a POW in the Vietnam War, not the cold war.  


    think sam meant (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by TruthMatters on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:58:48 PM EST
    the reason we fought in vietnam was because of the cold war,

    Vietnam was simply a Cold War proxy.


    Thank you (none / 0) (#134)
    by samtaylor2 on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:35:26 PM EST
    I thought that was clear

    erm. that's an odd thing to say (none / 0) (#71)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:00:23 PM EST
    Do you think the cold war was actually a "war"?

    Do you also think the drug war was a real war?

    What about the war on poverty?

    The man has a point, there were shots fired during the cold "war" out of fear of Communist expansionism.


    TChris, I love your update. My phone just rang (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by Teresa on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:47:36 PM EST
    and it was my mom. She said "hello my friend, are you watching this?". I knew exactly what she was referring to.

    McCain said his first marriage was his biggest (5.00 / 3) (#52)
    by mogal on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:48:17 PM EST
    moralfailure. 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.

    That's why the debates won't be a slam dunk (5.00 / 5) (#60)
    by Teresa on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:54:57 PM EST
    barring a huge mistake by McCain. He manages to come off as just normal guy if you ignore his positions.

    Moral failure answer (5.00 / 7) (#65)
    by oldpro on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:56:55 PM EST
    an extremely good counter to the attacks on him regarding the first wife.

    McCain was exceptionally well prepped for this hour.

    Of course, he didn't go off on a long vacation.  The campaign was his priority and it shows.

    Pretty sharp for an old guy...my age.  Great for exerpts for pro-McCain ads, especially for radio and TV...event print ads and mailings.


    McCain's first marriage (5.00 / 1) (#203)
    by Matt in Chicago on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 11:07:36 PM EST
    I have always agreed with previous posters how bad his first marriage turned out, and how I felt judgmental about his actions.

    I think it was CNN that ran a story about this topic and it got me to thinking.  He was 31 and had been married for two years when he was shot down.  In the 6 years of captivity he was messed up pretty bad, and his wife was in a life changing accident (I had no idea it left her inches shorter!).

    The idea that when he was released six years later they had "grown apart" to use that overused phrase, doesn't seem that far fetched.

    I say this knowing that I have friends who are divorced based on that same overused phrase but having experience no where near the trauma of McCain and his first wife (sorry, I can't recall her name...)

    Having said all of that, I still don't like the fact that he cheated on her.

    Sorry, I know this was long winded but I have been thinking about it for a few days.


    Only good if you don't count... (4.00 / 2) (#78)
    by Dadler on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:06:54 PM EST
    ...boming a country that did nothing to him or his country.  Or the illogical (and immoral) position he holds on Cuba, when he was a leader in normalizing relations with Vietnam.  Or is his morality only tied to his personal feelings of guilt?  McCain is being softballed and will be until the day he dies.  I'm hearing a lot of the same "he seems like a guy I'd like to have a beer with" crap I heard during the Bush run to the White House.  Crap it was then, crap it is now.

    McCain is such an addled, malevolent, b.s. artist, he makes Obama look like an amateur.  Why?  Because McCain's pathetic record as a pol is long and storied.  

    Obama ain't no savior, but McCain is a proven destroyer.  And how do you think sociopaths make their good impressions?  Humor.  Among other "surprising" qualities.


    Or the whole Keating Five thing... (none / 0) (#80)
    by Dadler on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:07:13 PM EST
    ...or, or, or...

    Yeah, but the question (5.00 / 2) (#102)
    by Grace on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:20:46 PM EST
    was "HIS" biggest moral failure.  

    That doesn't mean that he hasn't had other moral failures or that other moral failures he's had haven't been big.  

    It was a specific question looking for one specific answer.  And he gave one.

    I don't recall Obama giving ONE answer to the question.  What was Obama's "biggest moral failure?"      


    I would suggest... (2.20 / 5) (#117)
    by Dadler on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:30:07 PM EST
    ...that McCain is, simply stated, not a good person.  I don't think Obama has ANYTHING in his past that even marginally reaches the immorality McCain has practiced on an almost daily basis.  What do you expect Obama to say?  Seriously.  McCain admitted to something EVERYONE already knows about, therefore he was being a complete and utter coward with that answer.

    Can we please stop treating this sociopath like he's an honorable straight-shooter, when everything he says and does clearly indicate otherwise?

    This is reaching a level of absurdity that Pirandello would love.


    What's more... (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by Dadler on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:32:56 PM EST
    ...sincet he question was in the context of his running for POTUS, his answer MUST, to be honest and on point, involve and act of immorality that goes beyond his personal sexual foibles.  His answer was, I repeat, cowardly.  But we are not allowed to even use that word with McCain.  He gets a pass on everything, unless someone decides to have the balls of a real muckraking American journalist.

    So you would have preferred (none / 0) (#144)
    by Grace on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:44:45 PM EST
    if he had given a laundry list of every single moral failure he has ever had?

    Unfortunately, that wasn't the question the moderator asked.  The moderator asked a specific question and he gave a specific answer.  

    I'm not saying it was the greatest answer in the world -- but it was an appropriate answer.    


    It was only appropriate... (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by Dadler on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:50:54 PM EST
    ...if you actually think this kind of quasi-confessional, entirely empty garbage is ANYTHING we should be choosing a president on.

    Be serious.  He confessed to something that was a surprise to NO ONE.  And it affected no one but his immediate family.  Many family pricks have been great presidents, few moral wretches like him have been.

    For heaven's sake, it was NOT AN ANSWER worthy of someone who wants to be president.  An answer that would be was an answer that actually entailed some kind of failing that screwed over people politically, as he has done many times.  That is what presidential failings do, they screw over people NOT in your family, people who you will actually serve.

    This is ridiculous.  We are right back to the same regular guy, straight shooter crap that got Dubya elected -- or got him selected by the Supremes.  

    And we thought Obama had the cult of personality.  He, apparently, has nothing on St. John McCain-Bush.


    Quick question (none / 0) (#157)
    by Grace on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:55:36 PM EST
    and only slightly off topic -- but what do you think Bill Clinton would say was his biggest moral failure?  

    I would not be surprised if he mentioned the Lewinsky thing.  

    Perhaps, if you look at it in that context, you might understand why I believe things like that are appropriate as "biggest moral failures."  


    I believe (none / 0) (#164)
    by nell on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:01:22 PM EST
    he has said that his failure to do more in Rwanda was his greatest moral failure...

    Thank you, Nell (none / 0) (#170)
    by Dadler on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:06:15 PM EST
    THANK YOU!!!

    Does anyone else get it?  



    Well (5.00 / 4) (#175)
    by nell on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:10:18 PM EST
    I actually thought McCain did fine with that answer...

    I happen to remember hearing that Bill Clinton said Rwanda, which is why I said it.

    Perhaps there is something else that McCain could have said, but I wasn't upset by that answer. I think it takes great courage to say that you wronged your wife and your failed marriage is your own fault. It's personal, I guess, and I don't particularly care who cheats on who in terms of public service, that is between the two people in the relationship.

    And, I guess in comparison to Obama, I thought McCain's answer was better...Obama didn't mention anything especially policy based...he said it was doing drugs and drinking...


    It takes no courage (5.00 / 0) (#179)
    by Dadler on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:13:55 PM EST
    To fess up to something everyone knows and which comes with absolutely no political risk.  

    So Obama is guilty of copping out, too, that doesn't change the fact that McCain has a long, factual record of screwing over American citizens in concrete and destructive ways.  Things people largely don't know about.  His answer was cowardly, IMO.  You don't think so, fine.  But Rwanda is an infinitely more pertainent answer for a POLITICIAN, since it is a political answer.

    If anything, if shows how pathetic our poltical discourse continues to be.  

    Truly, horribly, destructively pathetic.


    We are not electing National Therapist (none / 0) (#173)
    by Dadler on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:07:53 PM EST

    OTHER PEOPLE, not his friggin' family!!!


    I'm sorry, but I think you are missing the point. (5.00 / 2) (#180)
    by tree on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:15:57 PM EST
    I don't believe that McCain thinks that any of the actions you cite are moral failings of his. YOU may think they are, and you may even be right, but he obviously doesn't think so, or he would be a different candidate. The question was not "What does Dadler think is your worse moral failing?"

    Please (none / 0) (#185)
    by Dadler on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:24:17 PM EST
    If that's what he thinks is his biggest moral failing is, when he has been a senator for decades and has done, knowingly, things that have negatively impacted untold numbers of people, then I have a big, um, difference of opinion as to his idea of morality as well as yours, especially when it comes to POLITICANS acting as POLTICIANS.

    And call me crazy (none / 0) (#186)
    by Dadler on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:27:54 PM EST
    But I'm a voter who actually likes to hear answers that I think are relevant.  Are you in the business of wanting answers to questions that have no impact on you or others?

    Frankly, I don't think the question (5.00 / 1) (#188)
    by tree on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:35:04 PM EST
    was particularly relevant. My point is that his answer is not surprising nor is it necessarily untrue to his beliefs. You seem to think that he should have turned himself in as a war criminal in answering that question. My point is, again, that if he thought the way you do, he wouldn't be running for President on his platform.

    And also, I don't particularly enjoy you trying to impugn my morality just because I disagree with you that HE  must think that his greatest moral failings are the political decisions that he has made.  


    I apologize (none / 0) (#194)
    by Dadler on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:49:09 PM EST
    But I cannot understand how we don't demand an answer that has something to do with the actual reason he is at his Rick Warren thing at all.  He's there to enlighten us about how he will be a better president.  Not how he thinks he's been a bad husband.  Seriously, how he has been a bad politician is the only kind of answer that should, logically, matter.  Or else, what's the point?

    I didn't see the debate, but . . . (5.00 / 2) (#225)
    by MojaveWolf on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 12:20:18 AM EST
    You're complaining about the McCain answer for not being weighty enough when (if my impression from other comments is correct) Obama said his greatest moral failure was drinking and taking drugs (in an apparently non-harmful to all concerned way, yet)?

    I wasn't talking about MY morality, and neither (none / 0) (#187)
    by tree on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:28:51 PM EST
    was the question he was asked.I was talking about how HE would see his morality. It isn't the same as yours. You're shocked by this?

    Then I repeat (none / 0) (#192)
    by Dadler on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:43:13 PM EST
    If you think that's an acceptable answer, or even a relevant one, for a guy running for PRESIDENT, then we have a disagreement of chasmic proportions.  Nothing is demanded of McCain, and I guess nothing is expected.

    Have a nice night, I've annoyed enough people.


    I think an honest answer to the (5.00 / 1) (#195)
    by tree on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:50:41 PM EST
    question is an acceptable answer. I have no reason to believe that the answer wasn't honest.

     Whether McCain is an acceptable candidate is another thing entirely, and for me he's not. Neither is Obama in my opinion.


    THIS is why Obama might lose (none / 0) (#206)
    by txpolitico67 on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 11:13:14 PM EST
    An answer that would be was an answer that actually entailed some kind of failing that screwed over people politically, as he has done many times.  That is what presidential failings do, they screw over people NOT in your family, people who you will actually serve.

    PUMA's anyone???


    You mean like the South Chicago slum (5.00 / 1) (#219)
    by JavaCityPal on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 11:42:20 PM EST
    areas he failed?

    Yes please. (5.00 / 0) (#127)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:33:43 PM EST
    Oh I don't know... (5.00 / 2) (#141)
    by Upstart Crow on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:41:42 PM EST
    He could have recalled his moral failure in encouraging the rampant sexism of his campaign -- especially since he cited sexism as one of the evils of our society.

    He could have cited his ingratitude to Hilary Clinton, who mentored him.

    And then there are all those people he threw under the bus...

    Those are just the ones I know about, that come immediately to mind...


    None of those come close (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by Dadler on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:53:45 PM EST
    To the kind of damage McCain has done as a Senator in a long and storied career of destruction, lies, deciets, cheating, theiving, you name it.  Amazing how he just skates.  Mabye he is Reagan all over again.

    And enough of the St. Hillary sh*t too.  They both ran hardball campaigns, but you'd swear Hillary had nothing to do with her own failure.  She doesn't walk on water, neither does Obama, but apparently McCain does.


    Oh c'mon Dadler... (5.00 / 6) (#178)
    by Upstart Crow on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:13:42 PM EST
    Obama has done virtually nothing in his 143 days in the Senate. So I guess you're right. The best way to keep a clean slate is to sit on your ass and do nothing.

    And whatever Hillary has or has not done, what happened to women in this country during this campaign is horrendous. And it was done by Obama's people, with his complicity.

    I don't think BHO is a saint, that's all. I'm sure if he is at all reflective of himself, he could have found some moral failure in the last 47 years.

    His dodging the question doesn't put him one up on McCain, in my opinion.  Save your outrage for that one.


    I have no love for Obama (5.00 / 1) (#190)
    by Dadler on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:39:33 PM EST
    But I have disdain for the LLLLLOOOOOOOONNNNNNNGGGGG record McCain has.  

    And, excuse me, but please try to rationalize "hard working white people" as not the single most stupid line uttered by a democratic candidate in the last I don't know how many years.

    And the idea that because Hillary lost ONLY because of the sexism of Obama partisans and flacks is, in a word, absurd.  Unless you believe sexism is so strong in the country it outdoes racism?  I have a mother with a PhD, who worked her way up from welfare and food stamps, I was raised by a feminist in other words, I know how bad sexism is.  I also have a brother and sister of mixed race just like Obama is.  For my sister, at least, sexism has been NOTHING compared to racism.

    I am sick of hearing excuses from the Hillaryniks.  Just once I'd like to hear them say she f'd up, too.  Certainly, Obama has f'd up, I can't stand certain things about his campaign or his politics, but I don't have my head in the sand like so many Hillary partisans did about her.


    You seem to be on a roll, Dadler (5.00 / 1) (#204)
    by Upstart Crow on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 11:08:04 PM EST
    But this isn't about Hillary. She's out of the picture. Whatever she did or did not do is irrelevant at this point.

    I was merely addressing your contention that Obama has so few moral failings to confess.

    I didn't say that the only reason Hillary lost was because of sexism, or the opposite. I was simply pointing out one of several areas that came to mind that even The One could have admitted to a moral failure.

    Instead he dodged the question altogether.  

    Seems to me your outrage at McCain's answer displaces a little outrage that BHO didn't answer the question at all.


    The Real John McCain (link) (none / 0) (#163)
    by Dadler on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:01:07 PM EST
    That is a great point (none / 0) (#128)
    by samtaylor2 on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:34:11 PM EST
    I didn't look at it like that.  Which is the obvious answer.

    you are reaching (none / 0) (#115)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:28:35 PM EST
    null set (none / 0) (#120)
    by AlSmith on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:31:00 PM EST

    Papal Infalability ;-) he was nice enough not to brag about it though....

    I think his answer to this question was (none / 0) (#122)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:31:47 PM EST
    his use of alcohol and drugs when he was a teenager. And he said that he had a self-absorbed worldview at that time.

    George W. Bush must still be a teenager (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:34:12 PM EST
    McCain won every vote in the room ... (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by robrecht on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:56:38 PM EST
    ... and the votes of very right-wing Christian out there in TV-land.

    CNN says (5.00 / 3) (#76)
    by nell on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:04:35 PM EST
    Obama was "slow and nuanced" and spent most of his time directing his answers to Rick Warren much as he is on the campaign trail (Yellin really stressed nuanced).

    McCain was quick and to the point and directed his answers to the voting public, much as he likes to do day after day on the campaign trail.

    This is CNN's initial analysis, not mine.

    Gergen says (5.00 / 6) (#81)
    by nell on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:08:02 PM EST
    McCain will be a much tougher opponent than Obama ever imagined. He said he thought Obama was good and came across as humble, but then McCain came on and was really great and had these incredibly powerful stories...basically McCain won....

    And that is coming from Gergen the biggest Obama shill there is.


    Gergen likes Obama (5.00 / 3) (#89)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:14:19 PM EST
    clearly, however, I think he can still express an honest opinion on how this went.

    Not your average shill. (5.00 / 3) (#97)
    by TChris on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:19:01 PM EST
    Gergen was an advisor to Nixon, Ford, and Reagan before serving in the Clinton administration.  He's a level-headed but fundamentally conservative guy.  He has said nice things about both candidates and has criticized them both.  I haven't heard him "shilling" for Obama.  Having said that, I agree with Gergen that McCain did a better job of playing to an audience that liked McCain's folksy story-telling more than Obama's nuanced, carefully-considered explanations of his positions.

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by nell on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:32:37 PM EST
    then you must have missed the panel Gergen was on shortly after Obama's FISA vote where he was visibly upset that people were criticizing Obama for this vote. Then Gergen actually went on to say that people being upset about this or saying that obama is against privacy rights is ridiculous because Obama has been fighting for privacy rights for 30 or 40 years...he is 47 years old. He has been fighting for privacy rights since he was between the ages of 7 and 17 years old....

    If that isn't a shill, I don't know what is. He just said whatever he wanted to defend Obama without even stopping to think about the facts...


    being familiar with the facts (5.00 / 2) (#136)
    by TChris on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:36:15 PM EST
    and stating them honestly and objectively is not the same as being a shill

    Gergen, don't forget, is also (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by brodie on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:20:03 PM EST
    still a Republican.  And maybe a teevee pundit who from time to time is going to give the Repub a good review.  That's his right.

    I just don't think he makes a convincing case when he omits to discuss the fact of the friendly setting for McCain and the conservative-oriented nature of the night's discussion.  Not to mention the very friendly rather obviously pro-McCain host Rick Warren.

    Not that the regular debates won't have pro-McCain moderators, true, but the range of questions the candidates will get, unlike tonight's conservative-oriented ones, won't be so neatly and consistently thrown right into the Repubs wheelhouse.

    Oh, and McCain's constant dipping into the POW well is going to wear thin on voters as the election goes on, I predict.  

    Come to think of it, Bob Dole '96 didn't get much traction with voters with all his WWII stories either ...


    Yeah (none / 0) (#212)
    by txpolitico67 on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 11:27:04 PM EST
    but Bob Dole was running against Perot AND Clinton.

    And Obama sure isn't EITHER one of those guys.


    I think McCain won the evening for (5.00 / 3) (#82)
    by inclusiveheart on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:08:16 PM EST
    people who don't care about specific issues and just want a guy who will provide them with some definitive direction.

    agreed. (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:15:11 PM EST
    But I hope Obama takes Gergen's comments to heart and addresses the audience next time.

    Obama needs a lot (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by Grace on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:51:16 PM EST
    of practice before the debates.  

    He also needs to find something to replace that stutter of his while he searches mentally for the appropriate word.  It makes him very hard to listen to (plus, anyone playing the drinking game to each "uh, uh, uh" is drunk after the first five minutes).  

    Hillary was a pretty good debater.  Maybe he could ask her for help?  (And I mean that seriously.)  


    I'm listening to Obama for the (4.00 / 3) (#218)
    by Grace on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 11:42:18 PM EST
    second time.  

    He really is awful, not just bad.  His performance on this stage in no way lives up to what he has promised while reading the teleprompter.  In his regular speeches, he's optimistic and energizing.  Here, answering questions, he's a mediocre student trying to get a new job with a big corporation that pays well.  He sounds hesitant rather than thoughtful.  His voice lacks the rise and fall you get with enthusiastic speakers.  

    Anyway...  If you don't like sleeping pills, an audio copy of this hour would make almost anyone fall asleep in the first half hour.

    (This comment is about style and not substance.  His speaking style in this type of format is BAD.)        


    Hillary is an awesome debater (none / 0) (#196)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:51:02 PM EST
    I think Obama is too. But Hil and MCain actually do have more political experience. I really do hope O uses Hil and anyone else who can help him here.

    We are up against a very effective and amoral election machine in the GOP


    Bingo! (5.00 / 5) (#200)
    by Lou Grinzo on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 11:00:00 PM EST
    And in modern day America, that wins elections.

    This is why I am getting sick to death of people like Stephanie Miller calling McCain "Grampy" and asserting that Obama will win in a landslide.  While I sincerely hope Obama wins, I think it's painfully clear that this will be a very close election.  Belittling McCain based on his age (which I don't see people on this site do) or making brash assumptions about November won't help the blue team or, for that matter, the US.  A significant portion of the political left in this country is sounding and acting like a bunch of rank newcomers going up against veterans who know (and are more than willing to use) every trick in the book.  This is a problem.


    Well, imagine a candidate (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by brodie on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:12:31 PM EST
    at a Faith and Morals Forum deciding to give thoughtful answers to often morally difficult questions.

    Of course, for the person who always sees things in simplistic black and white terms -- people like Bush, Reagan and now McCain -- naturally their answers will be easier to deliver because they require no thought, just recitation from the script.

    David Gergen, off his game tonight, is also forgetting that this forum and this crowd were obviously going to clearly lean in McC's direction from the outset.  

    That's why Rick Warren at the outset had to remind his audience about the importance of respecting other points of view as he then introduced Obama.

    That's how the R's win (3.50 / 2) (#215)
    by txpolitico67 on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 11:36:15 PM EST
    they set the terms and make sure they have the one-up on the environment.  First impressions are EVERYTHING.  If Obama came off as a vascillating, disfluency riddled candidate, that's not good.

    Wonder if the Super D's are really re-thinking a lot of things right now???


    MyDD reported that Obama placed Sam Nunn first in (5.00 / 4) (#101)
    by jawbone on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:20:45 PM EST
    his list of wisest people he has met (not sure if question was limted to politics). It was Nunn, Lugar, Kennedy, and then Clyburn. Oh, my.

    Sam Nunn? Ol' kneecap the new Dem president over gays in the military? And then not run again???

    Ouch. I'm glad I didn't watch.

    Actually, he mentioned his wife first. (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by TChris on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:23:45 PM EST
    What ! He thought his wife was (5.00 / 3) (#125)
    by tree on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:33:25 PM EST
    smarter than Nelson Mandela! How terrible! <snark>

    the comment to which this refers was deleted (5.00 / 2) (#130)
    by TChris on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:34:35 PM EST

    thank you. (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:35:17 PM EST
    by Dr Molly on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:37:58 PM EST

    I've notified Jeralyn. (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by TChris on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:44:30 PM EST
    She makes those judgments, but I think RA is an easy call.

    Thank you (none / 0) (#149)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:48:54 PM EST
    I know I shouldn't engage, but it's hard not to.

    Civil Forum (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by batphone360 on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:01:35 PM EST
    I for one was surprised.  I had heard mumblings about Obama not being good on his feet, but really didn't think he did all that bad tonight.

    I thought the CNN blogger had it right that Warren was asking pretty astute and tough questions back to back without letting anything slide. That part impressed me.

    I was a bit concerned with McCain's opening... thought he sounded like he was overtrying and sucking up to the audience. Then I thought he was going to start stumping, but he backed off.

    Then he really impressed me. Great Candor. Not at all what I had expected. Truthfully,I haven't seen/heard that much of him so this was my first prolonged look. I was impressed.  

    Thought the whole thing was unbiassed (same questions, etc.) Didn't seem like the audience was partial and overall thought McCain really carried the night. It will be interesting to see how this impacts the polls.

    Obama easn't bad (5.00 / 0) (#168)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:05:30 PM EST
    but McCain was better.

    In substance, however, Obama ruled the day.


    Hmmm (5.00 / 3) (#171)
    by nell on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:07:00 PM EST
    I am watching Obama now...

    He cited Sam Nunn and Dick Lugar as two people he would follow on foreign policy...

    Sam Nunn and Dick Lugar...how utterly disappointing.

    Of course, (5.00 / 1) (#189)
    by Jeannie on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:36:30 PM EST
    that's after Michelle and Grandma.

    McCain did better with this audience (5.00 / 0) (#182)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:17:02 PM EST
    but his positions make me ill.

    It is very scary that the polls are currently so close.

    McCain did better period. (5.00 / 3) (#184)
    by batphone360 on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:23:19 PM EST
    note to Sam - I sure hope you are not right...
    I'm inclined to believe (even if naively so) that we live in 2008 and not 1968.

    I thought he was couching his answers because he was  weighing the political implications not because he was "black".

    McCain simply came across more candid.  Which is what I think the forum allowed for.  The opportunity to answer candidly without an appointment firing back.

    Another thought (5.00 / 1) (#201)
    by petshack on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 11:04:38 PM EST
    I think the way Obama handles himself is refreshing!!  He controls his temper and does not spout off like a high school teenager.  He behaves like an adult and I would much rather have him handling relationships here and in other countries with a level head.  McCain and his negative advertising and his hot temper really concern me.  How can someone like that handle conflict well?  If you can't control your temper, you are in deep trouble as a president.  He could get us into alot of trouble!!

    A creeping feeling (5.00 / 2) (#202)
    by Lou Grinzo on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 11:06:54 PM EST
    I know this is going to sound a little fruitloopy, but please bear with me.

    Am I the only one who sees a parallel between 2008 and another time when a too-smart-for-his-own-good Dem from Illinois went up against an older, war hero Republican?  Yes, I'm talking about Adlai Stevenson running against Eisenhower in '52 and '56.

    I'm sure someone who knows that time period much better than I can jump in here and give me a long list of ways in which today differs substantially from those races; I'm talking more about a visceral reaction than a well thought out analysis.

    One more thing (none / 0) (#205)
    by Lou Grinzo on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 11:10:32 PM EST
    For a concise treatment of the '52 and '56 races, see this part of the Wikipedia entry for Stevenson:



    A creeping feeling (none / 0) (#207)
    by petshack on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 11:14:15 PM EST
    I wasn't born until 1961 so I can't help you there!!  I just have noticed that Obama and alot of the people who work with him seem to keep their emotions in check and respond to things with a cool head and clear thoughts.  McCain and his people seem to be ready to attack at any moment.  They also seem to be willing to try any tactic to win.  I think Obamas people take the higher road and I admire that!

    good point! (none / 0) (#211)
    by SueBonnetSue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 11:26:40 PM EST
    A liberal intellectual ran against an older military guy.  One used big words, spoke in quotes, with a very partisan background.  The other was a plain spoken military guy, not known for his partisanship.  Ummmmm............it's 1952 all over again.  

    Very astute (none / 0) (#214)
    by robrecht on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 11:34:58 PM EST
    I've been making this same comparison to Adlai Stevenson the last couple of days.  Just for the record, I am not THAT old but I do remember going to see his son give a speech while campaigning for governor of Illinois.  Too smart for his own good, but not as effective as his dad (according to my mom).  Lost, of course.

    I missed all but final 5 minutes (4.20 / 5) (#40)
    by oldpro on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:39:49 PM EST
    of Obama as I was napping (by default, not by design!) so I have no impression of his performance yet.  I'll watch a rerun tomorrow or late tonight.

    This first 1/2 hour of McCain is, pretty good for Him.  Too many 'my friends' fillers in every answer but he is on top of it...answers easily and quickly, pushes to answer the questions he wants when he wants in the way he wants.  Fluid.  Somwhat funny.  Informal/natural/not uptight.  Most of it sounds spontaneous and not in that 'reading it/rehearsed voice' that he usually assumes when talking politics.

    He knows what he thinks...no dancing around the questions so far...no trying not to answer...no avoidance.  Of course, the questions are friendly and to his liking, so one would expect that.

    Interrupts the moderator occasionally which could be interpreted by some as authoritative/decisive and therefore, appealing.

    But from what I've heard about McCain (5.00 / 3) (#74)
    by Grace on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:03:30 PM EST
    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.  


    I want a leader who cares (none / 0) (#77)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:05:38 PM EST
    what the public thinks,actually.

    Bush actively did not care. And he did not care about the parts of the constitution that protect the public, either.


    Bush and voters (none / 0) (#191)
    by Lou Grinzo on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:41:42 PM EST
    That's the thing I just don't get about Bush getting so many votes in 2000 and especially in 2004.  I see him as an arrogant, stubborn guy pushing all the wrong policies, yet millions of Americans voted for him simply because he was so forceful and likable (the old "I'd want to have a beer with him" nonsense).

    If that isn't the ultimate triumph of style over substance, then I don't know what is.

    Unless it happens again in 2008--that would top even 2004.


    agreed (none / 0) (#217)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 11:40:42 PM EST
    We are in deep doo doo (3.50 / 2) (#208)
    by SueBonnetSue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 11:15:41 PM EST
    I didn't watch tonight but the rerun of McCain is on now.  He's doing well.  :(

    Then I read that Obama said this about abortion, when live begins:
    >>>whether you're looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question  with specificity ... is above my pay grade."<<

    What the HECK?!!!  It's above his pay grade?  For Heaven's sake, he's running for PRESIDENT!!!!   How much higher a pay grade is there?!  He can't answer the question?  VERY lame answer.  

    Then I see that Obama is losing in Florida, Ohio, Colorado and Virginia!   In the national polls, Obama's lead has shrunk to ONE POINT!  Throw in the Bradley effect and McCain is ahead.  Check out realclearpolitics.com for the latest polls.  I am shocked.  We should be WAAAAAY ahead now, and we're not.  This is looking grim.

    If Obama doesn't choose Hillary, he's toast.  

    He meant God (5.00 / 0) (#220)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 11:42:47 PM EST
    it is a joke. And it showed that he was humble enough to understand that he does not determine or know when human life begins.

    I am just an athiest, but I got that one.


    Just because he's running for president (none / 0) (#223)
    by Anne on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 11:59:25 PM EST
    doesn't mean he can define when life begins.  John McCain answered, "at conception;"  is he right?  Or is he just settled in his belief?  Either way, all McCain can tell us is what he believes to be true, and frankly, I am not looking for two men running for president to be the authority on this question.

    I don't mind that Obama doesn't know when life begins (although a simple, "I don't know" would have been a better answer); what I mind is when he waffles on the issue of choice.


    I wish they weren't doing this (none / 0) (#3)
    by Miss Led on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:03:43 PM EST
    Isn't this their very first town hall? What about the economy? What about the war? Why faith?

    The wacky evangelicals will not vote for a democrat and the non-wacky ones will give Obama a fair shake without this. He need not pander IMO.


    huh? (none / 0) (#226)
    by mindfulmission on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:08:19 AM EST
    They talked about war.  And they talked about the economy.

    Faith was just a small part of it.


    I'm watching it (none / 0) (#6)
    by Grace on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:15:41 PM EST
    Obama is not a good speaker in this type of setting.  Too much "uh, uh, uh" in each sentence.  (I'd love to know if there is going to be a transcript of this -- some sentences must have had 10 or more of those.)  It was hard to follow his actual answer.  

    I don't think he answered the definition of marriage question very well.  

    but I do like the format.  Same questions, individually.  McCain is very canned.  Obama better.
    I can read all the blogs I want to, but the truth is, I'd rather see and listen for myself.  At 50, I have a pretty good bullsh*t detector.  Now, if we could get these guys to have a Black Panther moderator, it'd even it all out.  No?

    This is on all three cable news channels. (none / 0) (#8)
    by Teresa on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:18:32 PM EST
    I didn't realize that. I'm dvr-ing it because of the Olympics.

    TChris...could we have a regular open thread for the Olympics or other things? Jeralyn was having them but she didn't last night.

    I'll Put one up now (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:19:45 PM EST
    Which SCOTUS would you not have nominated? (none / 0) (#17)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:25:46 PM EST
    Mac: Ginsberg, Breyer, Souter, and Stevens.

    Shorter McCain- Rightwingers only (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:27:50 PM EST
    Moderates need not apply.

    This response should end any debate here about McCain and the court.


    Should but probably won't. (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:31:51 PM EST
    How did Obama answer? (none / 0) (#24)
    by Teresa on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:31:39 PM EST
    Scalia and Thomas (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:33:15 PM EST
    then he said that his fears against Roberts were confirmed because he allowed the executive branch's power grab.

    Obama said no to Clarence Thomas (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:34:17 PM EST
    No Scalias and that Roberts was interesting but his behavior since being elevated to the court proved to Obama that he was right to vote against him. He also said Roberts was too deferential to executive power.  

    I used to find Atheists too militant (none / 0) (#48)
    by catfish on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:46:13 PM EST
    but after this, I no longer feel that way. Yeeuuuck.

    heh, really? (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:47:40 PM EST
    all 5% of us?

    LOL (5.00 / 2) (#99)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:19:57 PM EST
    It's funny to describe myself and all the other atheists I know as 'militant'. Most of us feel we can hardly say out loud that we are atheists in this culture, it's so reviled.

    :( I don't think ya'll (5.00 / 2) (#145)
    by cawaltz on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:46:00 PM EST
    are revulsive. I disagree with you but I think different opinions make the world go round. My husband professed to be an atheist when I met him. He's a charming man and the salt of the Earth. I will never in a million years understand how people link religikon with morality. I've known people who were religious with questionable morals(even from a biblical standpoint) and people who call themselves atheist but seem to have a pretty impeccable set of standards when it comes to how they choose to live their lives.

    I promise not (5.00 / 1) (#224)
    by txpolitico67 on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 11:59:53 PM EST
    to think in your church as long as you don't pray in my school.  



    I was a silent Atheist. (5.00 / 2) (#150)
    by catfish on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:50:41 PM EST
    But I am becoming more vocal.

    I know. I've had that experience, myself (none / 0) (#137)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:36:58 PM EST
    It really depends on where you are... (none / 0) (#148)
    by Upstart Crow on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:47:59 PM EST
    Where I work, you are in trouble if you are NOT an atheist -- to the point where I'd call it a hostile envionment.

    I hear ya (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:52:01 PM EST
    I work in academia, specifically evolutionary biology. One of my best friends and colleagues also works in the field but she is also very christian and very religious - it is very difficult for her. I have heard people make fun of her and I always speak up about it. No one should be intolerant of others' beliefs.

    But I have to say that, outside of my work environment, it is a tough culture when you're not a believer.


    I had a friend (none / 0) (#159)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:59:32 PM EST
    who was a Biologist-Christian. I was shocked when I found out (we were in grad school then). But mostly people don't talk about faith in academia.

    That's kinda sad too (5.00 / 0) (#174)
    by cawaltz on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:08:57 PM EST
    Personally, my faith is important to me and I can't imagine having to hide it. I'm not in your face about it but I'd hate to have to feel like I was inferior for feeling the way I do.

    Sigh. I sure do wish the world could learn to be more tolerant. I'd be a lot nicer.


    True. (none / 0) (#154)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:52:49 PM EST
    But I've been surprised by strong reactions from liberal friends, so I mostly keep it to myself.

    I did not mean it that way. (none / 0) (#140)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:41:42 PM EST
    I meant that Obama (and many Dems)approach questions in a thoughtful way, as you would in a college course.

    Republicans don't. they simplify to the point of absurdity. But that works in the context of the campaign, and it is a constant problem for Democrats.

    Sorry, I did not mean to insult you.

    I deleted the insult (none / 0) (#169)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:05:41 PM EST
    I'm not sure if I agree entirely (none / 0) (#210)
    by Matt in Chicago on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 11:23:01 PM EST
    A poster earlier remarked that McCain's answers are short and to the point because he is not worried that he might offend someone (which I take to mean that he doesn't have to worry so much about being properly nuanced in his word selection), whereas (and this is my opinion) Obama has a wider constituency to speak to... which means he has to be more careful about how he says what he says.

    BTW, not trying to start a fight... just thought it was an interesting observation.


    That's one interpretation (none / 0) (#216)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 11:39:56 PM EST
    but it's not my interpretation.

    Per Jeralyn, (none / 0) (#160)
    by TChris on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:59:55 PM EST
    RA "is history."

    I'm going to delete the (none / 0) (#166)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:03:38 PM EST
    comments complaining to further erase all evidence. No need to give that poster any satisfaction. But that's just what commenters should do when they see such garbage is point it out. Thanks to all who did.

    Commenter RA (none / 0) (#162)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:01:02 PM EST
    has been vaporized. No comments remain. Thanks to all for the alert.

    ah shucks! (none / 0) (#167)
    by coigue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:03:47 PM EST
    weren't nothin!

    A Obama Problem (none / 0) (#172)
    by samtaylor2 on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:07:03 PM EST
    One of the problems that Obama will have is that as a Black guy he can't come across as force full.  Thus McCain will always get more assertive points.

    I'd say that a more important Obama problem (5.00 / 2) (#177)
    by tree on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:12:34 PM EST
    is that he always limits himself. He needs to get past the idea that he can't do something or another because he's black. (Or biracial, which is more accurate.) That's not how you lead.

    Respectfully disagree (5.00 / 3) (#183)
    by Upstart Crow on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:20:40 PM EST
    I don't think it has anything to do with being black, half-black, whatever. He's not a very forceful guy. Lots of people aren't, you know. He tries to be all things to all people.

    But hey! What do I know. Gore was the same way, way back then. After he lost the election, he turned into who he really was and bagged a Nobel.


    Why can't a Black man be forceful? (5.00 / 2) (#209)
    by SueBonnetSue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 11:22:58 PM EST
    What's race got to do with it?  

    I know he is limited (none / 0) (#197)
    by lilburro on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:51:45 PM EST
    by his race in expressing indignation, anger, etc., but I think forceful he has managed.  He has been very, very forceful on Iraq, and that is one of the reasons he is the nominee today.

    Not as forceful as McCain (2.00 / 1) (#213)
    by SueBonnetSue on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 11:28:48 PM EST
    has been on fighting terrorism.  

    Obama is too wishy washy, for most people, on so many things.  


    Obama and McCain (none / 0) (#199)
    by petshack on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 10:58:29 PM EST
    I thought Obama appeared to be answering the questions from his heart in a serious introspective way.  The debate was meant to be a serious debate.  McCain looked and spoke to the audience and gave them speech after speech about himself...he constantly veered off of the questions' topics to give another one of his little speeches...he seems so desperate he will do anything to win!

    Comments closed (none / 0) (#221)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 11:49:29 PM EST
    New Thread on the forum is here.

    We don't want to know when human life begins (none / 0) (#222)
    by Fen on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 11:53:31 PM EST
    And it showed that he was humble enough to understand that he does not determine or know when human life begins.

    Does he extend that to SCOTUS? Is it above their pay grade too?

    He can't answer the question?  VERY lame answer.

    And its an easy answer - we don't know with 100% certainty when life begins. And evolved societies err on the side of caution when a human life is involved. But we do the reverse wrt abortion.