This new ad from Matthew 25, a progressive religious advocacy group, features Brian McLaren, a popular Christian author, and KirbyJon Caldwell — George W. Bush’s pastor. It may seem schlocky but the idea that Obama appears to be a good family man does matter, and may help combat charges that he’s a latter day Stokely Carmichael. Matthew25 says it will air the add during coverage of the Saddleback candidates forum.But I’m most intrigued by this moment: KirbyJon says,”Throughout his entire career he’s stood by families.” And then his wife, pastor Suzette Caldwell says, “Including his own.” Kirbyjon nods and hmphhhs in agreement.Might this be intended to poke John McCain for committing adultery in his first marriage? Seems that way to me.I saw this issue come up on Hannity & Colmes this week too. Most reporters have assumed that McCain’s adultery and first marriage would be a non-issue because it happened so long ago and McCain has taken the blame. “My marriage’s collapse was attributable to my own selfishness and immaturity. The blame was entirely mine.”But there are details that may give this one traction anyway, especially in Christian circles. Carol had raised their three kids while McCain was a POW. She was in a devastating car accident, losing five inches of height and causing her to walk with a limp. When McCain returned from Vietnam the marriage disintegrated. McCain began pursuing Cindy Hensley — a wealthy, young beer heiress who would become his current wife — while he was still married to Carol. He says they were separated but not yet divorced; other accounts say McCain went after Cindy while he and Carol were still together. McCain and his first wife reportedly still have a good relationship, and Carol doesn’t seem bitter. The most thorough account I’ve found is this from the Los Angeles Times.Looks like Democrats are now starting to float the issue, especially in religious circles. Will this seem like a cheap shot? Or a pugnacious counter-punch to McCain’s ads implying that Obama has a Messianic complex or conservative activists talking about his drug use?

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