Another Thought on The Saddleback Forum

Rick Warren, Barack Obama, John McCain

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.

  12 comments for “Another Thought on The Saddleback Forum

  1. Travis
    August 18, 2008 at 8:21 am

    A ban on TV & radio advertising? Should we just throw the 1st amendment out the window?

  2. Ellinorianne
    August 18, 2008 at 10:09 am

    Thom Hartmann made a very good point today. In the original press release for this event Warren touted Poverty, HIV/AIDS and humanitarian issues as the topics of dicussion and that we was going to stay away from hot button issues.

    Sorry, he went against that with quite a few of his questions. The more I read about this the more I feel that Obama was set up. Not to mention the fact that when Warren said McCain was in a “cone of silence” he was actually in his limo on the way there.

    He had advance knowledge of the questions and Warren did not say one time that McCain should stay away from stump speeches, that’s all McCain did. Totally rigged.

  3. August 18, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Barack Obama and his campaign made the right decision to do this “compassion” forum. It’s about time evangelicals took responsiblity to get the truth about Barack Obama and his policies, from Barack Obama.

    However, I agree with the sentiment about the forum being set up. How’d you like Warren’s “so dear to his heart” adoption question being so convenient for McCain to speak about Cindy’s adoption of a Bangladeshi infant girl, (an admirable thing to do, btw). Of course we can’t forget when McCain interrupted Warren in the middle of a question to ask when could he talk about Supreme Court justices. Warren will be on Larry King Live tonight ,(Mon). I wonder if he will admit how many paid the $1,000 and $2,000 price tags to attend, and, if there weren’t many, how many of the remaining seats were filled with Saddleback Church parishoners. Hardly a friendly audience to Obama either way.

  4. Dan Chmielewski
    August 18, 2008 at 11:26 am

    This wasn’t a debate, it was a conservation.

    Also, please source the cone of silence rumor.

  5. August 18, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Dan-

    True. It wasn’t a “debate”. But still, it became a media spectacle that had little to do with discussing real issues & everything to do with kissing up to the religious right.

    And btw, here’s the info on “the cone of silence”…

    http://thedemocraticdaily.com/2008/08/18/mccain-wasnt-in-his-cone-of-silence/

    Elise-

    Perhaps. I guess Obama would have looked worse if he didn’t attend. Still, it would have been nice to see more real dialogue & less cheap campaign rhetoric.

  6. Ellinorianne
    August 18, 2008 at 11:57 am

    Just google “Cone of Silence”, it’s all over the place. Here is the NYT’s.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/18/us/politics/18mccain.html?ref=us

    ORLANDO, Fla. — Senator John McCain was not in a “cone of silence” on Saturday night while his rival, Senator Barack Obama, was being interviewed at the Saddleback Church in California.

    Members of the McCain campaign staff, who flew here Sunday from California, said Mr. McCain was in his motorcade on the way to the church as Mr. Obama was being interviewed by the Rev. Rick Warren, the author of the best-selling book “The Purpose Driven Life.”

  7. Dan Chmielewski
    August 18, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    Thanks for the links guys; I was reading the NY Times and posting as your messages came in.

  8. August 18, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    Rick Warren was the one who claimed McCain was sequestered in some sound proof room. If he did not know this to be true, why did he lead us to believe this was a fair format?
    Wanna wager there was never a coin toss?
    Then packing the room with church members?
    The fix was in long ago on this forum.
    I just hope Larry King isn’t afraid to ask Warren some tough questions.

  9. d'Anconia
    August 18, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    lol, you guys are ridiculous with this cone of silence bs

    obama lost. get over it.

    actually get used to it.

  10. Lefty
    August 18, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    NO CONE of silence …

    McCain has prior knowledge of questions? (an OBVIOUS advantage if he knows tough questions in advance)

    Say’s not.

    Proof otherwise? …

    RW – Q = 9 DEFINE MARRIAGE.

    JM – R = 10 “A UNION — A UNION BETWEEN MAN AND WOMAN, BETWEEN

    11 ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN, THAT’S MY DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE.

    12 ARE WE GOING TO GET BACK TO THE IMPORTANCE OF SUPREME

    13 COURT JUSTICES.”

    14 Q WE’LL GET TO THAT.

    NOTICE: McCain >>> “ARE WE GOING TO GET BACK TO THE IMPORTANCE OF SUPREME COURT JUSTICES”

    BEFORE >>> he was asked about Judges …

    Busted.

    http://www.rickwarrennews.com/transcript/civil_forum_transcript-05.txt

    imo

  11. August 18, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    This “cone of silence-gate”– Rick Warren is the one who lost his credibility–if he ever had any.

    Get used to it.

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