Last night we watched the "faith" Q & A session run by Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback. We missed the first few showings of it.
This DID bring us further down the decision road. The way the two candidates spoke of their own faith, or didn't speak of it, as well as their comfort levels in this environment, gave us additional information and perhaps insight.
Watching this, I realize now, is how McCain reminds me of Richard Nixon. If you're really young, Nixon ran against John F. Kennedy although he eventually did become President after that loss. Neither McCain nor Nixon is/was any good on television. Neither seems comfortable with himself let alone someone else having control over a situation in which he is participating.
McCain means well. I paid particular attention to his response about the "Cone of Silence" question when Warren was greeting him. He didn't answer the question asked but tried to make room for a clever response. He truly did not want to lie so he just didn't tell the truth. That cone thing was probably a bad location for a POW anyway. Imagine.
His sense of humor truly was activated for this event and I was pleased to see he can deliver a funny line of his own or a good writer's creation. I had not witnessed it previously. And, he was moved in stating, and we in hearing, his biggest moral failure. Many Americans relate to him right there, right now. Let's hope it is not a vote getter. We saw his human qualities more during this event than elsewhere.
But, as in his inclusion of "drill...right here, right now", he never caught on to this arrangement being an intimate conversation opportunity. He revealed very little about himself; he responded by looking briefly at RW then turning to the camera and talking and it just didn't feel right, as a viewer, to not have him look RW in the eye when he answered the question the pastor put before him.
Watching him more recently, at the intro of Sarah Palin, he looked over her shoulder repeatedly, at her papers on the podium. What, in case he needed to help her with big words? I have not doubt he's a good man, personable, thoughtful, devoted to his senatorial position and constituents. It is sad to see him being thrown in as the RNC's sacrificial lamb, a toss confirmed by pitching us an up and coming, raw not rare, VP candidate. At times he seemed to be thinking, "Now, who is this woman and what did I tell her she could do?". Gov. Palin will be someone we will see again. This is it for Senator McCain.
It's difficult for me not to be swept up by Obama; I'm still holding on to my vote and quelling my inclination to stop reading and listening because I just want to believe in America again. But I do have to say, when he was asked about America's biggest moral failure and came back with, in his lifetime, it is us not living up to Matthew 25's verses, my heart leaped and tried to take my voter registration card with it. He is right...well, he did get it from the Bible. He gets it.
I like Obama as a person. He knows our Bible better than I know it. I like what he says. I like how he says it and his choice of words. I like that he conversed with Warren. I like his VP candidate and believe Biden is a good backup. I like his family. I like that he is composed, assured, contemplative, thoughtful, prepared. I like how he puts people at ease. I think our country is falling in love with him. I am thrilled he occasionally refers to us all as friends and never insults us by claiming us as "my friends". I despise those who try to take him down by calling him "messiah". That's wrong and rude. Criticize what he wants to do; don't give him a religious toned label thinking Christians will be offended and change their minds.
These two men received the same prep material and guidelines. One appeared to take them and "go with it". The other appeared to "go along with it".
Neither candidate will ever put into play all he is saying he'll get done, especially by himself. Obama further moved me when he state the realism - we all have to cut back, give up, re-think, change, maybe call it sacrifice; we all have to understand we have to pay a price of some sort in order to better the world.
It's exciting to have strong candidates and I hope their respective "runners up" stay behind them, lifting them up in prayer and deed. I hope we continue to see the real differentiation each needs to put before us and policy meat on the campaign skeletons, rather than mudslinging or whining or negative advertising which is waiting in the wings to bully us.
Let's not disappoint them. We need to be willing to appreciate the right to choose our leader, willing to learn about all the candidates and platforms. VOTE on November 4th.