"McCain did a great job of making me feel confident. He was clearly in his element at Saddleback, among supportive evangelical Christians, and he went a long way toward alleviating their fears about his inability to communicate with them in their own language.
Obama came first, and he handled himself well in front of an audience that clearly disagrees with him on many issues. He also managed to put to rest the notion that he is a Muslim, which 12 percent of Americans still believe he is. He talked directly to Rick Warren as though they were having a real conversation, whereas McCain played to the audience, rarely looking at Warren. He was low-key, thoughtful and nuanced.
That kind of nuance is hard to understand sometimes — it’s unclear, complicated. Obama’s world can be scarier. It’s multicultural. It’s realistic (yes, there is evil on the streets of this country as well as in other places, and a lot of evil has been perpetrated in the name of good). It’s honest. When does life begin? Only the antiabortionists are clear on that. For the majority of Americans (who are pro-choice), it is "above my pay grade," in Obama’s words, where there is no hard and fast line to draw on what’s worth dying for, and where people of all faiths have to be respected.
I would rather live in McCain’s world than Obama’s. But I believe that we live in Obama’s world. " Sally Quinn
In the fifties there were two presidential elections in which Adlai Stevenson lost to Dwight Eisenhower. Eisenhower was an intelligent man, who possessed vast experience as a leader and manager. He was cautious, restrained, not inclined to rash action. In many ways he deserved to win the election, and he did, but what happened to Stevenson in those two elections is instructive.
Stevenson lost because he was, in the vulgar idiom of today, an "elitist." He was no any kind of "ist," but he was a member of the WASP elite. He came from a distinguished family, had a fine education in places like Choate, Princeton and Harvard Law and was a wit. During one of his campaigns he was told that he would have the vote "of every thinking man in America." He replied that he "needed a majority to be elected." He was soft spoken, a fine speaker, nuanced in his opinions and pronouncements and indifferent to trivialities like fancy clothes. A newspaper published a picture of the bottom of one of his shoes. It had a hole in the sole. This became emblematic of the man, interpreted by his friends as evidence of a lack of pretension and by his enemies as a pose. He was incapable of speaking in slogans. He lost, twice. Obama is a lot like Stevenson. You could see that in the "forum" held in Orange County the other night.
McCain has been trained by his neocon handlers and advisers to suppress the music in his rugged old soul in favor of "memetics and neurolinguistics." He spoke to the audience, not to the host. He spoke in simplistic terms of complex issues. He exhorted the crowd to fear against the "other." It was a rally against the enemies that so many in America hold dear as a focus for their own group identity.
I continue to think that McCain will win. That does not mean that I favor his candidacy. pl