Steven Waldman

Steven Waldman


Rick Warren Saddleack Live Blogging

posted by swaldman

OBAMA
8:10 — I’m driving up to New Hampshire to pick up my son from sleepaway camp. I’m listening to the debate on the radio and will attempt to live blog.
First, observation: for those who were worried that Rick Warren was going to be a goofball theocrat asking inappropriate faith questions only: Warren’s quesitons are MUCH better than the TV journalists that moderated previous debates.
8:43 — Obama doing quite well. He leads with Jesus dying for his sins — not social justice. That’s crucial in convincing evangelicals that he’s a “real” Christian
Abortion — He said the magic words: “we reduce the number of abortions.” That was the phrase that was pointedly NOT put in the platform. I dont think he was as emphatic as he needed to be to overtturn the pervasive notion that he’s a radical pro-choice candidate but he said things — like helping women carry the baby to term — that many evangelicals have never heard a Democrat say.
Does Evil Exist? — Yes, he said. May seem like a pretty easy question but since evangelicals have been told that Democrats are all moral relativists, this may come as a shock.
Supreme Court Justice he wouldn’t appoint — Fascinating answer: Clarence Thomas, because he wasn’t qualified. Also, his rationale for disliking Roberts was brilliant for this audience; he said Roberts isn’t strong enough on blocking growth of executive power.
Faith Based — Obama’s worst moment. He seemed evasive and muddy.
MCCAIN
9:15 — 3 wisest people you know:
–petreaus
–john lewis
–meg Whitman, ceo
Much better answer than Obama’s I think. Each was thought-provoking, and made a point (about Iraq, bipartisanship, entrepreneurship)
9:17 — Greatest moral failure — “The failure of my first marriage.” Brilliant answer – undercut a big potential issue (adultery during the first marriage).
Bipartisanship — Climate change, out of control, torture. “The list goes on where I put my country first.” Much better answer than Obama.
Most anguished decision — McCain’s answer: Deciding not to accept early release as a prisoner of war. “It took a lot of prayer. Probably the all time best answer anyone’s ever given to that question.
He then told the story about the cross in the dirt. Each time he tells this story he seems to add new, extra-Christian details.
At what point is a baby entitled to human rights? “At the moment of conception…. will be a pro life president ad I will have pro life policies.” Very strong.
Response to evil? “Defeat it.” Big moment: he got to talk about fighting Islamic extremism, which Obama didn’t mention. What a contrast in their answers on this question. Obama cited Darfur and abusive parents. McCain cited Bin Laden.
Faith Based — The first blatantly misleading moment. He implied that taking faith based money would mean churches couldnt be giving faith based service. In fact, the example he gave, from Katrina, was one in which a faith-based program did its work WITHOUT govenrment aid.
Education — Substantively similar to Obama but much more direct and compelling.
Taxes — His notion that he wants everyone to be rich was a crowd pleaser but I dont think it was as effective as Obama’s notion that you have to pay for these things. The one area where Obama may have been more effective.
He actually talked about health care more compellingly than Obama.



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mark

posted August 16, 2008 at 10:49 pm


I was unimpressed with Rick warren not asking ANY follow up questions about McCain’s first marriage.
He tossed a wife who worked 5 years for his release from North Vietnam, and after she was disabled in a near fatal car crash he TOSSED her. along with a daughter and two adopted sons, for his blonde 15 year younger multi millionaire. he SO disrespected his wife a MONTH before his divorce was final he had gotten his second marriage license, Nancy reagan never forgot how rotten he treated his First wife who Nancy hired to work for her.
about a dozen other McCain answers were his stump anecdotes he shoved in as canned answers, and they let him get away with that, and latter fawn all over him.



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Linda McWilliams

posted August 16, 2008 at 11:49 pm


Tonight you let McCain give a stump speech over and over. I do not believe you held him to the same limits as Obama’s. You owe Obama an apology.



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mark

posted August 17, 2008 at 12:01 am


Tonight did more to make Americans NOT TRUST faith-based ANYTHING just another Republican TOOL.
bought and paid for



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mark

posted August 17, 2008 at 12:25 am


How about not solving AIDS with faith-based abstinence-ONLY lies which failed in 85% of Senior High School girls, increased abortions…oh…and INCREASED New AIDS cases FORTY PERCENT.
the next massive AIDS deaths will be BOTH your sons and daughters



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Fisher

posted August 17, 2008 at 12:34 am


McCain mopped the floor with Obama. No wonder the empty suit refused the townhall debates.



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Kathryn L.

posted August 17, 2008 at 12:50 am


Obama especially appeared thoughtful in this forum as if trying to listen to the Holy Spirit. It was most clearly evident Obama was actually listening and heard when he responded with Words from our Lord “As you do to the least of these, you are doing to Me (meaning Jesus). The Sprit was saying the ‘exact’ same thing to me at the time which “confirmed” for me that Obama was listening. That one thing caused me to trust him which assures me that God will be leading us doing these uncertain times via Obama. Therefore, our success is guaranteed similar to when God used an obedient young David to be king, though not perfect. Military experience doesn’t guarantee success in my eyes. God is our refuge and our strength. Victory is only in Him being led by the Holy Spirit. PHN!



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Paul, seeking wisdom

posted August 17, 2008 at 12:53 am


McCain gave pat answers, Obama gave thought led answers. In my mind both did well. McCain gained a few votes and played the crowd. Obama talked to the Nation. He also gained a few votes.
As a man of peace, I was NOT happy with the Hawkish views of McCain and I think Freedom and the American Constitution take precedence over “National Security”. When you give up freedom, you don’t deserve security. When you reduce yourselves to use the forces of Evil to combat evil, you have become evil yourselves. Obama addressed this well while McCain seemed to endorse the Bush policies of torture and false imprisonment.
I will say that both did well being who they are and not trying to fool anybody.



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dcs

posted August 17, 2008 at 1:42 am


In God we trust? Hating God and hating our country seem to be the compelling factors in voting for Democrats.
Liberals value immagination above all else. They cant think, they just “feel”. Nancy Polosy resisted Bush Sr. in the Iraq war. She spoke before congress claiming that we can avoid war if “we use our immagination”. Her opposition at the beginning of the war resulted in a failed cease-fire that is now called “the second gulf war”. Ask Georgia how they like their immaginary peace.



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Sam

posted August 17, 2008 at 5:03 am


McCain came off as an unthoughtful, angry man who funnels his whole world view through his military experience. Steve, I heard you when you spoke out at Fuller and thought it interesting, but your comments about this forum are incredibly unbalanced.
Your judgments on each candidates response are based on how you percieve them to be effective to a “right-wing” evangelical. There was quite a lot of applause for Senator Obama, a surprising amount in fact. McCain came off as a general who only knows one thing, WIN and Obama came off as a thoughtful, well-spoken, reflective, leader who understands the world we live in and the issues are not black and white. Most of the time McCain did not even let Rick Warren finish the question.



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B. Joyner

posted August 17, 2008 at 6:11 am


McCain was very impersonal. He told stories about others which he has mastered. He looked directly at the audience because he could not dare look directly into Rick Warren’s eyes. He still did not talk about his personal faith and his belief in God; In fact he would not even say the name of the Lord. Futhermore when asked why he wanted to be President, his answer was for “Americans to serve a cause greater than themselves.” McCain has his own war to fight; the ghosts from the Vietnam War. He tells us how he acted as a prisoner of war but not as a leader. All of his stories are of the the past. This is the future and we need change.



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Kai Cross

posted August 17, 2008 at 7:16 am


Gee, what a thoughtful answer, Fisher. How about saying something substantive?
“McCain mopped the floor with Obama. No wonder the empty suit refused the townhall debates.”



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Kai Cross

posted August 17, 2008 at 7:17 am


Gee, what a thoughtful answer, Fisher. How about saying something substantive?
“McCain mopped the floor with Obama. No wonder the empty suit refused the townhall debates.”



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Joni Zieger

posted August 17, 2008 at 7:45 am


The questions of last evening were very eye opening!!! McCain was clearly the winner winner for our entire household. This man has experience. Only time (age) can give you that credit. While listening to the answers to the questions, it was clear this man has morals and decisive direction. He will not get derailed to please others agendas. Senator OBama seems to give two directions that he can go, if you really read between the lines, to most all answers, ( always an out for further considerations) therefore giving him freedom to go whatever direction he chooses, AFTER becoming our leader . Senator McCain is the man I trust to lead us thru this economy, and world stress that we are all a part of. The man has experience…. Lets give HIM the credit DUE. Yes, he looked at the audience, that is who he was talking to. The audience, and millions of people on T.V.. He certainly knows his direction with NO HESITATION. Thank you Senator McCain…I feel Much Better voting for YOU.



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Norah RunningWolf

posted August 17, 2008 at 11:26 am


I wonder why Rick Warren feels John Edward’s adultery makes him unfit to lead, (I agree), but does not hold the same standard for John McCain?



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olinka

posted August 19, 2008 at 9:47 pm


This was a very segregated audiance.
Not inclusive.
Christian that are pro life should put feet to their faith. I don’t see them adopting crack or HIV babies. When these babies are criminal teenagers, they simply want to lock them away in prisons.
They are the NIMBY christians that don’t want group homes in their neighborhoods.
White christians are afraid of black youth and don’t support head start programs etc. If you are against abortion, then please be willing to support the unborn and the children after they are born.
Are you willing to support health care for these children, and better schools, and opportunities?
Pray about these issues and challenges, and then vote.



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k

posted August 20, 2008 at 12:59 pm


This forum was to give the public a chance to hear both sides without all the extra hupla. I thought both candidates did well, not knowing if they had been given the questions before hand or not. They each had their own way of answering. I agreed and disagreed with both sides on different issues.
In the long run actions speak louder than word. We don’t really know what they will do once in office. As a born again believer, putting my trust in the hands of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and not in man(Obama nor McCain), my job is to pray for the leader according to God will not depending on my understanding, for He knows who will follow according to His leading.
So, do your part, get the facts, but also pray that GOD’s will be done and that the HOLY SPIRIT will be the guiding source of YOUR vote!
Because ultimatly, GOD is in control, and HIS WILL will be done on earth as in heaven, but He has given His people Authority over the earth so, that the prayers of the righteous avails much. SO PRAY!!
Then PRAY again!



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