OK, so you’ve probably already heard quite a bit about the “Saddleback Forum on the Presidency”. Jubal/Matt Cunningham made sure to bash Barack Obama plenty. Our own Chris Prevatt was actually there, and he provided his own thoughts on what happened. But now, I’d like to shake things up a little & offer my own $0.02 on what happened on Saturday.
First off, are we surprised that the corporate media declared John McCain “the winner”? All he has to do is repeat his same old “maverick” talking points to impress them. And of course, we heard plenty of talking points coming put of him. Was there anything McCain said that actually seemed spontaneous and not scripted?
Secondly, this showed that Obama needs to prepare some more before the debates start. I guess he didn’t really do anything wrong technically by conversing with Pastor Rick Warren. But by engaging in conversation with Warren, Obama sometimes forgot to clearly convey his message to the audience. Maybe Warren wanted a conversation, but we all knew in advance that the media would make it into hour-long infomercials for each candidate. And while McCain was perfectly on queue, Obama wasn’t ready to deliver. Hopefully, he’ll be better prepared when the real debates approach.
And finally, it’s so sad that even this forum that was supposed to be different ended up looking like the same old media spectacle. At an event when we should have been expecting more and better, I find it lame that I have to critique Obama’s ability to “stay on message”. Warren said he didn’t want a repetition of campaign talking points, but that’s all we got from McCain… And he “won” the night according to the corporate media.
So color me depressed and disappointed. This event didn’t really do anything to elevate the political discourse. Maybe Rick Warren and Barack Obama tried hard, but it didn’t work. And frankly, I don’t think there’s anything we can do short of complete overhaul of campaign law (think total public financing, a ban on paid TV & radio advertising, and a new way of doing debates) can change this.