It sounds like I missed a good debate/Q&A session while I was camping. In my mind, this response from Obama on the abortion question reveals everything you need to know about the not-yet President:
"Whether you are looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade."Bulldog Pundit and many others have stated the obvious: there's nothing above the "pay grade" of President of the United States. But, more seriously, Obama's response revealed a lack of preparation that borders on insouciance for the political process. Did his staff really allow him to go into this debate without preparing for the abortion question? Or did he decide to just wing it?
...after all, how would he have possibly known a question about abortion and the moment of conception would come up at an evangelical leader's faith-based joint appearance?I'm loathe to use the word "presumptive" but can Obama really be serious when he hints that Clarence Thomas was unqualified for the Supreme Court? Victor Davis Hanson explains the depths of Obama's self-regard:
In tonight’s Rick Warren interview, I don’t know why Obama chooses to insult a Supreme Court Justice at a religious forum, but his comments that Justice Thomas was not qualified to be on the Court were revealing. Why would Obama think, given his own credentials, that he was better qualified for President than Clarence Thomas was for the Supreme Court?Yes, Thomas was a federal judge, but he was short on "changyness" and "hope-litude." Finally, Jennifer Rubin writes that if this is a warm-up for the Presidential debates, Americans may prefer the paternal professionalism of McCain to the flashy motivational speaker:
What the event suggests is also something much more fundamental and more troublesome for Obama. Of all the opponents he could possibly have drawn, McCain is probably the most difficult for him to handle. Obama’s lack of experience, his glibness, his absence of depth and personal gravitas might not be as noticeable against another type of candidate. These deficits are glaring, shocking almost when McCain is the opponent, in a way they were not against Hillary Clinton and might not have been against one of the other GOP contenders. A side-by-side comparison leaves Obama seeming lighter than air. It will be hard to disguise that from the voters.So far, so good.
And this suggestion is dead on: McCain doesn’t need to wow the crowds; he only needs to remind them that he possesses a seriousness of purpose and depth of experience his opponent does not.
Extra - In "How McCain won Saddleback" Byron York cuts Obama some slack: "Obama had nothing to win on the question; if anything, he seemed wary of saying something that might anger his pro-choice base." Well, I didn't see the video but it sure sounds like a cop out to me.