Back in the Saddle

It was fairly stunning, during last night’s Christian dog-and-pony show at the Saddleback Church, to see the contrast between Obama’s responses to the questions that were asked of him and McCain’s responses. But if you’ve been following the campaign at all, it wasn’t all that surprising.

Barack gave thoughtful answers to the questions as they were posed. McCain, on the other hand, gave calculated answers formulated with two parts campaign rhetoric and one part jingoism, and squeezed them in to make them fit (even though they often weren’t really even answers to the questions that were posed). Obama spoke from the heart; McCain spoke from talking points.

It was also pretty revealing to see how McCain used so many of his answers to interject military options at every juncture. In fact, his entire perspective is a military one.

The other thing that was so surprising was that the (right-wing) pundits immediately said what a great job McCain did, using the number of times he got applause to support their claims. Well, hello! He’s a Republican speaking in front of a church audience in Orange County, the right-most place on the left coast. Big deal. Anyone can get applause in front of an audience that already agrees with his positions. What was more telling was that Obama got such a significant positive response from this crowd. Kudos to Barack for going into the lion’s den. (C’mon. I couldn’t get through a post like this without at least one Biblical reference.)