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Obama fumbles at Faith Forum

 
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 12:54 pm
Question to Slkshock7: Curious. What did you see as shallow. I'll agree somewhat with the 'pandering to the crowd' re McCain, but Obama did that too. They are both poltiicians after all.

But what did you see as shallow?
hamburgboy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 01:48 pm
@ebrown p,
Quote:
But Obama is counting on Americans to look for something more than short bumpersticker answers designed to get applause


looking across the fence ... ...
it'll be interesting to see if the majority of "voting" americans will be looking at nuanced answers or if they'll be looking for bumperstickers .

btw i wonder what voter turnout will be .
(canada used to have a good voter turnout but in the last few elections many canadians have - unfortunately imo - adopted a "why bother" attitude ) .
hbg
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 01:50 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
I felt that Obama was pandering more to the crowd than McCain, but that's a matter of personal perception. I liked McCain's straight-forward answers; seems Obama struggled a bit with his on certain q's.
InfraBlue
 
  0  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 01:57 pm
Here's a pretty good article about the Faith Forum from USAToday.
Religion, ethics experts comment on forum
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  2  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 01:58 pm
Here's a pretty good article about the Faith Forum from USAToday.
Religion, ethics experts comment on forum
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 02:18 pm
Here's a pretty good article about the Faith Forum from USAToday.

Religion, ethics experts comment on forum

The observations about abortion were most interesting to me.

About McCain's and Obama's answers to the question of when life and human rights begin, McCain drew loud applause from the conservative Christian audience when he answered, "At conception."

Obama answered rather flippantly, "Whether you're looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective. Answering that question with specificity is above my pay grade."

Quote:
"Obama will be 'hammered by the religious right' for that 'pay grade' answer," says Rabbi James Rudin of New York City, former Interreligious Affairs director for the American Jewish Committee. Rudin was one of five religion and ethics experts asked by USA TODAY to observe the forum broadcast.

Msgr. Francis Maniscalco, former spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and now public policy director for the diocese of Rockville Centre, N.Y., the nation's sixth largest Catholic diocese, called the comment a "dodge that wasn't even intellectually respectable."

The Rev. Mark Coppenger of Evanston, Ill., a professor of Christian Apologetics at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, and former spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention, branded the comment as "specious. Obama has made that very determination in opening the law wide to the killing of the unborn."

However, R. Alta Charo, a professor of law and ethics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, pointed out that Obama's position has been law since the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision. It "specifically says that neither biologists nor doctors nor theologians can agree upon the moral status of the fetus."

But since there is "absolute certainty that the woman herself does have moral status, then the conservative thing to do is to protect the woman's interests first," the court concluded.

McCain's statement that human rights attach at conception "still does not answer the question of what to do when there is a conflict with the rights of the woman," Charo says.

She also sees inconsistency between McCain's conservative views on when life begins and his support of embryonic stem cell research, which many conservative Christians oppose.

"If he believes in human rights at the moment of conception, then he ought to be against embryonic stem cell research, IVF and even the so-called 'rhythm method.' " which has the effect of timing intercourse not only to prevent conception, but also to allow conception at a time when the fertilized egg will drop into a uterus that is not at the right time of month for implantation."
0 Replies
 
slkshock7
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 02:20 pm
@Foxfyre,
I don't think I used the word shallow for either Obama or McCain. I used the word "tortured" which I think is accurate. Obama evidently felt obligated to go into some great depth on his reasoning against abortion, same-sex marriage, to name a couple. I actually thought he answered the abortion question pretty well. But I don't think the average american has the patience or understanding of the subtle hues of grey that seem to have influenced Obama's take on the issue.

It smacks too much of Clinton's infamous "Depends on what the meaning of "is" is."
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 02:30 pm
@slkshock7,
You're right, and my apologies. I attributed another remark to you--still getting used to the new board. Smile

I don't think McCain needed to go into more detail on abortion, at least until asked. The question was when does a human begin to have rights, and his opinion was at conception. My own opinion puts it at the time that a pregnancy is detectable and that is what I would have answered. Obama dodged the question which puts him at a distinct disadvantage in presenting a clear moral center on the issue. Neither man was asked about abortion. Obama mentioned it anyway. McCain didn't as it wasn't part of the question.
Not a Soccer Mom
 
  -2  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 02:40 pm
@Foxfyre,
McSame fumbled, several times.
0 Replies
 
slkshock7
 
  2  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 03:07 pm
@cicerone imposter,
CI,
I fully agree with you. Obama did pander, but then again it was not a liberal venue. Obama's objective was to try to sway social conservatives and some degree of pandering was necessary. Would be interesting to see how much pandering McCain would do in a similar "hostile" environment.
echi
 
  0  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 06:53 pm
@slkshock7,
Obama did great. He was boring, but that's exactly what he needs to be as the first African-American nominee of a major party.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  4  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 07:34 pm
Interesting; I think if anyone took the time to print out the entire "interviews" of McCain/Obama with each question followed by each answer and compared them side by side one would find that McCain did not answer many questions or did them with anecdotes nonresponsive to the actual question while Obama actually attempted to give complete and comprehensive answers. The biggest failure of Obama's was his answering to the questions rather than to the audience while Mccain answered to "my friends" the audience. Obama must learn to play the audience as well as answer the questions.
cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 08:43 pm
The problem with most American voters is their inability to really understand the problems and their solutions. On top of all that, our attention span is very short, and long, drawn-out answers tend to be "lost in translation." McCain even provided some anectodes to his answers which made it more "personable."

McCain "won."
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 08:44 pm
@slkshock7,
A certain amount of the difference in their (Obama and McCain) presentations was probably due to the audience they were in the room with. It was not an impartial venue.

Instead of having "Debates" I wish they would have "Discussions". I would like to see the two candidates sit down and discuss some topics in a non-adversarial way. I would like to see how the candidates explore ideas and try to arrive at mutual solutions, rather than see them simply defend pre-set positions on things.

0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 08:45 pm
@ebrown p,
Wrong. He gave the impression that he didn't know what he was talking about---and that he had pre-formulated answers in order to avoid losing votes re: abortion and other "faith" type issues as they relate to politics. "Nuance" looked a lot like dodging.

(not knowing what he was talking about references a Bible quote that rolls off your tongue when you go to church...the basic "the least of these..." Did he have to be prompted to complete it?) But, that was small potatoes... Just made him appear to have just learned it for the night...

nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 05:05 am
I didnt see it, but some of your descriptions make me want to look it up after all, when I need to break some time.

Also this description of the event, which ties neatly into some of your descriptions, and contrasts Rev. Warren's approach with that in the media-sponsored debates:

Quote:
In Defense of Rick Warren

http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles_of_faith/warren1.jpg

TNR contributing editor Alan Wolfe, director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life at Boston College, gives his take on Obama and McCain's appearance at Rick Warren's Saddleback Church yesterday:

If you watched the Best Political Team on Television discuss the joint appearance of Senators Obama and McCain Saturday night at Rick Warren's Saddleback Church, you heard a lot of chatter about which candidate performed better. In their usual manner, however, the mainstream media--or, as leftwing bloggers calls it, the Village--missed the point. The real debate was not between the candidates but between Rick Warren and the Best Political Team on Television.

Warren won, and in a landslide. His questions were at times inane, but nowhere near as inane as the campaign has been. Paris Hilton and Britney Spears made no appearance. Barack Obama was not asked to defend himself against the idea that he is a rootless celebrity. Speaking to one preacher, he was never asked to comment on his former preacher. This was politics before Karl Rove. The only question is whether it will also be politics after Karl Rove.

John McCain was given fair and balanced treatment as well. If he wanted to emphasize foreign policy, Warren let him do so. If he was more comfortable repeating stories he has told many times before, that was OK with the pastor. My guess--and it is only a guess--is that Rick Warren does not know much about policies in which he is not all that interested. But neither does McCain. Like Obama, he was allowed to project the kind of person he is.

All this was contrary, not to the media narrative of the campaign, but to the media's narrative of itself. We ask tough questions, television journalists convince themselves, and our job--remember Tim Russert--is to contrast what candidates say with what they said. But there is not, and never has been, anything tough about it. Candidates learn how to get their talking points across, no matter what the question. By the time the debates roll around, everything has been said, which means that everything is repeated.

I saw two men, not two candidates, speaking with Rick Warren. One was conversational, intelligent, and responsive. He seemed to listen to the questions, to think about them, and to answer them. I liked his performance, but, then again, I am a liberal and a Democrat. What was most interesting to me, though, was that Obama never pretended to be anything other than what he is. If you want a president who knows the details of policy on the one hand and thinks the world is complicated on the other, you would vote for this guy.

McCain also took the opportunity Warren offered to be himself. He was witty, energetic, and quick. He was far too quick for my tastes--I would not be happy with a president so convinced that his job was to rid the world of evil--but I was left in no doubt about how he views the world. Over the course of his career, there have been many John McCains: the conservative, the maverick, the conservative redux. But only one John McCain is about to receive the Republican Party's nomination for president in 2008, and that one got to show his stuff.

If Rick Warren's job was to elevate the tone of the campaign, he succeeded. Any person who had not been paying too much attention to the ads and the spin was offered a real choice about the nature of leadership. [..] This time, we will not be able to pretend afterwards that we did not know what the stakes were. For that we have Rick Warren, and not CNN or Fox, to thank.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 05:13 am
@Lash,
Quote:
(not knowing what he was talking about references a Bible quote that rolls off your tongue when you go to church...the basic "the least of these..." Did he have to be prompted to complete it?) But, that was small potatoes... Just made him appear to have just learned it for the night...

Actually - not that I would recognize it - but Obama apparently showed himself very fluent in references to the Bible and, for lack of a better word, Christian-speak:

Quote:
On the "greatest moral failing" question, Obama hit two home runs in a row. Framing his teenaged failings in terms of selfishness, of focusing on himself - very slyly giving a nod to Warren's "it's not about you" mantra - is exactly what Christians want to hear. Obama's answer is known as "giving your testimony" in conservative Christian (CC) circles; it shows a personal intimacy with the forms and content of Christianity. Obama's answer for America's greatest moral failing, quoting from Matthew 25, was pitch-perfect. You cannot argue with that answer, you cannot distort it, you cannot claim that Obama doesn't love America enough. And that he expanded it to apply to racism and sexism was good as well.

As for Obama's worldview, again he shows an ease with the concepts and vocabulary of American Christianity. "Get myself out of the way" is very good. The "acting justly, loving mercy, walking humbly with our God" is a reference to Micah 6:8, one of the most popular Bible verses within Evangelical Christianity. [..] Again, I think Obama really believes this stuff, which is why he's able to be so natural with it all. He's actually read the Bible - unlike most Evangelicals - and it's important to him.

(That's from the 'resident Christian', so to say (and rabid Hillarista), on an an admittedly very partisan blog.)
0 Replies
 
mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 06:55 am
There was one time at the event that I think that Obama made a mistake, and it could probably be used against him.
He said he would not have nominated Clarence Thomas to the USSC, because he (Thomas) didnt have experience.
This is coming from the same man that wants to be President even though he has no experience.

To quote someone else...
http://jimgodblog.blogspot.com/2008/08/pot-meet-kettle.html

Quote:
So in the "Saddleback Debate", where both Obama and McCain took questions from Pastor Rick Warren, Obama went on record as naming Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as someone he would not nominate as justice. Why? He was too young, too inexperienced, not prepared. Hmmm. Let's review.
Clarence Thomas was 43 years old when he was nominted by the elder George Bush. But he had plenty of legitimate expereince. He had been Assistant Attorney General of Missouri, Assistant Secretary of Education for the Office of Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education, Chairman of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and served on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In other words, yes, Thomas was young, but qualified to be a Supreme Court Justice.
Barack Obama on the other hand, is 47 years old, not that much older than Thomas was. Obama is the inexperienced one. What has he done? Well, he served half a term in the United States Senate (not an exucutive body), seven years in the Illinois state senate, and was a community organizer in Chicago. His sucess in this regard can be shown by the droves of people leaving the suburbs to move to the inner city where Obama would transform the Windy City. Oh, wait, you mean that didn't happen?
The point is, Obama has no executive experience. True, McCain served in the Senate as well, but he has been here since before I was born. Obama is too young and inexperienced, yet he labels Clarence Thomas, one of our most brilliant jurisprudent minds as such. I think Sigmund Freud would call that projection.


I think that if Obama wants to say someone lacks the experience to do a job, he should acknowledge that he also lacks the experience.
slkshock7
 
  0  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 07:06 am
@mysteryman,
MM,
Gotta agree with you...not a wise move on Obama's part...you can expect that McCain commercial to be out in next couple days, I'm sure.
0 Replies
 
Not a Soccer Mom
 
  4  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 07:24 am
@mysteryman,
Did you (or the blogger you quote) watch the same forum?

Here is what Obama said:

Quote:
"I would not have nominated Clarence Thomas," Obama said in response to a question about which justice he would not have appointed. "I don't think that he was a strong enough jurist or legal thinker at the time for that elevation."


If you are going to make claims about something Obama allegedly said, please include a direct quote in the future.
 

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