Saddleback Forum: This Round Goes To McCain

If I had to rate this one, I would say that McCain came out on top at the Saddleback Presidential Forum. His answers were clear and were made more compelling by his allusions to his time in a Vietnamese prison camp.

Rick Warren did a lot better than I thought he would in his interviews. In a traditional debate, the candidates get asked different questions by the moderators, and oftentimes one candidate gets asked tougher questions than his opponent. In the Saddleback forum, each candidate got asked the same questions, so the viewer was able to compare apples to apples. I thought Warren’s format was brilliant on this point.

One final observation. I am often frustrated during presidential debates because the personhood of the unborn is rarely if ever a part of the discussion. But Warren’s formulation of the abortion question was ingenious. He asked both candidates when a baby gets human rights. McCain answered “at conception,” and Obama said “answering that question is above my pay-grade.” If that doesn’t sum up the difference between these two men on the abortion question, then I don’t know what does.

See Obama’s answer to the abortion question below.

12 Responses to Saddleback Forum: This Round Goes To McCain

  1. David Schmidt August 16, 2008 at 10:51 pm #

    I agree, it wasn’t even close.

    Additionally, supporters of traditional marriage may be bothered by the inconsistencies in Obama’s statements on the issue. Obama said he supports marriage between 1 man and 1 woman in the forum although he is on record as opposing the California proposition defining marriage as between 1 man and 1 woman.

    That seems to be holding 2 positions at 1 time to me.

  2. Ted August 16, 2008 at 10:54 pm #

    Both candidates did well, though politically I think Obama “wins” because as a Democrat he woos evangelical votes that normally go to Republicans.

    My pundit analysis is up on my blog.

  3. Denny Burk August 16, 2008 at 11:05 pm #

    Ted,

    You may be right on this one.

    Thanks,
    Denny

  4. John August 17, 2008 at 12:43 am #

    “This round goes to McCain”

    Surely there are no biases driving that conclusion.

    Why were abortion and homosexual marriage the only issues highlighted?

    I didn’t even get to watch the debate because I was watching Phelps kick butt again! That dude is amazing, and Colt is the fastest guy I’ve ever seen in my life.

  5. John August 17, 2008 at 12:45 am #

    I mean “Bolt” not “Colt”

  6. Mark Gibson August 17, 2008 at 1:57 am #

    McCain actually answered the questions. Obama danced around everything.

  7. Don August 17, 2008 at 3:01 am #

    I think McCain did better, but this was a Christian evengelical forum, so I think he was expected to do so. I do think we got to see both candidates thinking on their feet.

  8. volfan007 August 17, 2008 at 10:21 am #

    McCain definitely sounded better in his answers than Obama. Rick Warren did better in his questions than what I thought he would do. I truly expected him to softball questions instead of throwing the hard stuff, and I expected him to stay heavily into environmental issues, economy, etc. I was glad to see him ask such things.

    I will still reluctantly vote for McCain.

    David

  9. Matt Svoboda August 17, 2008 at 5:49 pm #

    Has no one seen the statistic that Obama is actually behind where Kerry was this time for years ago in the evangelical vote? Do some research, it is all hype. Obama has less evangelicals than Kerry did.

    Back to the Forum. I really think this is the way it is going to be until the end. McCain’s straight answers and experience are going to win him the presidency!

  10. Paul Butterworth August 18, 2008 at 12:38 am #

    As an ex-patriate of Arizona, I vote for McCain with exhuberance, not reluctance.

    I was unable to watch McCain’s answers, though, because Phelps and co. were busy writing poetry in the water.

  11. Matt Svoboda August 19, 2008 at 10:00 am #

    Hey Paul!

    I am glad to see you voting for McCain without hesitation. It says something about a politician when people who have lived under their leadership for years are willing supporters!

    If anyone remembers Gore didn’t win Tennessee!

  12. volfan007 August 19, 2008 at 10:05 am #

    I’m a Tennessean, and I definitely didnt vote for Gore. Good observation, Matt.

    David

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