Sunday, August 17, 2008

History favors McCain: Saddleback retrospective

McCain did talking points at the Saddleback forum, and he's been a known name since before becoming a household word during the Keating 5 scandal. Talking points worked for the Bush-Cheney campaign, so perhaps McCain did "win" the contest at Saddleback, as some pundits are espousing.No ties at Saddleback, just regular guys... And McCain has decades of name recognition going for him, clearly.

Obama relied on candid answers during his Saddleback appearance, which may impress people more now that we've seen the result of 8 years with a talking point president that put the economy in a tailspin (not just for today but for whoever ends up paying for Bush's war,) but obviously many find it easier to be comfortable with the talking points style of politics.

When Bush ran against Kerry, the talking point approach was reinforced by unabashed attack politics, albeit largely handled by surrogates. It worked. The term "swiftboated" as a way to describe the effect of the lies on Kerry's outcome on election day is as recognizable in the lexicon as the overuse of a "-gate" suffix for something that brings down a major figure.

So the question becomes:

Will those who prefer talking point prepared and vetted by a politician's handlers turn out to vote in larger numbers in November, or will those who prefer a President they can believe, and trust?

People knew, back when Bill Clinton ran, that they couldn't actually trust what he said, based on "didn't inhale." They understood it to be a socially acceptable answer, but not the unvarnished truth. In fact, we expect our leaders to conceal certain things from us in the name of national security, so it was curiously reassuring. That "didn't inhale" response may have been the pivotal point in electing a man with only state-level experience to the Oval Office. Then, late in his term, President Clinton began quibbling over what terms such as "sexual relations" and "is" meant... and we got George W. Bush as the country reacted to Clinton's disingenuous, political responses when the subject was personal.

So, will celebrity, attack politics and talking points win? Despite my own preferences, and hopes, it will take a lot of people showing up on election day and expressing their true desire for a candid, honest form of politics to make that happen - and like it or not, history favors McCain. Still, I'll advocate on behalf of the outsider, Obama, and vote for him in November.

I don't blame all Republicans for the state of the economy and the debt we're facing. I might've been suckered by the doctored intelligence reports, myself, when it came time to vote on various Iraq issues, and I surely believed Colin Powell, who soldiered on dutifully for his Commander In Chief in front of the United Nations and the world. We goofed, frankly -- yet this remains the one place I want to live and raise my family.

I just think under the leadership we've had since 2000 that we've gone down bad paths, and I'm ready for a pragmatic, candid, visionary leader to take the U.S.A. in a new direction.

That, my friends, is the audacity of hope.

Rick Warren Admits Not Voting For An Adulterer (McCain? Edwards?)

It appears that Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren admits that he would not vote for an adulter. The question came up before the Saddleback Forum, where U.S. Senator and GOP Nominee for President John McCain did say that he regretted how he treated his first wife.

It's widely known in political circles that McCain cheated on his first wife with the woman we now know as Cindy McCain. CNN's Mary Snow asked her about the question, without success:

This liberal Christian group called Matthew25 also took issue with the McCain Adultery matter in this commercial:

This is the story:

In 1965 John McCain, a member of the US Navy, married an attractive model named Carol Shepp. In 1967 McCain was sent to Vietnam. It didn't take long before McCain was shot down and taken prisoner. Carol waited faithfully for McCain during his imprisonment. In 1969, Carol was in a terrible car crash. She was thrown through the windshield and suffered serious injuries. But Carol would not allow her POW husband to be notified of what had happened to her because she didn't want him to feel any additional stress. She stood by her man, alone, for the 5 years he was in prison.

McCain was released in 1973 and returned home to find that Carol's accident had "left her 4 inches shorter and on crutches, and she had gained a good deal of weight." [4] McCain no longer had a trophy wife he could feel proud of.

By the late 70's McCain had engaged in adulterous behaviors, as chronicled in the book "The Nightingale's Song" by Robert Timberg. Timberg wrote:

"Off duty, usually on routine cross-country flights to Yuma and El Centro, John started carousing and running around with women. To make matters worse, some of the women with whom he was linked by rumor were subordinates. At the time the rumors were so widespread that, true or not, they became part of McCain's persona, impossible not to take note of."

In 1979 John McCain met Cindy Lou Hensley at a military reception in Hawaii. [1] Cindy was a millionaire and very attractive. McCain was eighteen years older than the wealthy Hensley, but that didn't stop him from developing an adulterous relationship with her. [2]

McCain says of their first meeting, "She was lovely, intelligent and charming, 18 years my junior but poised and confident. I monopolized her attention the entire time, taking care to prevent anyone else from intruding on our conversation. When it came time to leave the party, I persuaded her to join me for drinks at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. By the evening's end, I was in love."

That's what happened. How the public will handle this as the campaign wears on is the unknown story.

Rep. John Murtha Thinks Hardball's Chris Matthews Should Be Senator

At an event U.S. Rep John Murtha said that he believed long-time political pundit MSNBC and former San Francisco Examiner Columnist Chris Matthews would make a great Senator

To me, that would mean the loss of a great political pundit.

Rick Warren Screws Up: Tickets To Saddleback Sold For $500 And Up

Say, what's Pastor Rick Warren up to, charging $500 and up for a ticket to the Saddleback Forum and not telling people on the website according to this YouTuber. Look, the errors regarding this debate are starting to add up. I have no objection to the Forum and I enjoyed it.

But I do have serious problems with the way Warren guided Senator McCain to address a Darfur issue McCain would not have mentioned on his own, and I don't like that Pastor Warren essentially let McCain give the kind of stump speeches that Senator Obama was told not to give.

That's not right and Pastor Warren owes the country an explaination for it.

Saddleback Forum - Obama Thoughtful | McCain WarMonger

My take on tonight's Saddleback Forum. I felt that Pastor Rick Warren set Obama up by first having him go before McCain, then telling him not to give stump speeches while having or allowing McCain to give stump speeches and not challenging him on it.

When I hear Senator McCain all I get is "war. war. war." When I hear Senator Obama, I get "talk. think. decide." That's a huge difference, indeed. For someone like CNN Contributor David Gergen to be massaged to sleep by the words of Senator McCain is totally criminal. And it really is, because we're not electing a story teller, we're electing a president.