For better or worse, Evangelicals have enough clout to carry elections and Senator Barack Obama has kept no secrets in his attempt to court them. But is Obama’s pandering another sign that he is drifting from his liberal base–or just a wasted effort to persuade a historically republican voter block?
The answer to all these questions is an emphatic NO! Senator Obama speaks openly of his Christian faith (he is not a Muslim…for the millionth time already), and his recent appearances at the Saddleback & Compassion forums, provided thoughtful, nuanced, and deliberate answers on faith.
Obama understands when it’s appropriate to quote the Bible, has broad knowledge in religious theology, and speaks the language in Christian terms effectively.
I admired his response, in particular, to our country’s greatest moral failure: “We still don’t abide by that basic precept of Matthew…that whatever you do for the least of my brothers you do for me.” The truth of his statement, especially when held to our last eight years under Bush (Katrina anyone?) could not have been more clear.
But when it was McCain’s turn at Saddleback, he delivered robotic lines that fed to the cheers of the crowd. With the question, “At what point is a baby entitled to human rights?” McCain growled, “At the moment of conception.”
I find his incessant reference to the audience as “My friends” to be ingratiating and insincere, like that of a used car salesman (he’s certainly no friend of mine…especially after these comments). (READ MORE)
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John McCain’s camp is accusing Barack Obama of playing “the race card,” according to the New York Times.
“Barack Obama has played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck,’’ Rick Davis, McCain’s campaign manager, said in a statement, citing remarks Obama made on Wednesday, where he said Republicans are scaring voters by pointing out he “doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.”
“It’s divisive, negative, shameful and wrong,” Davis adds.
A spokesman for the Obama campaign said: “This is a race about big challenges…Barack Obama in no way believes that the McCain campaign is using race as an issue, but he does believe they’re using the same old low-road politics to distract voters from the real issues in this campaign, and those are the issues he’ll continue to talk about.” … Read More →
Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, 53, has been nominated as the presidential candidate for the liberal environmentalist Green Party, according to CNN.
Green Party spokeswoman Scott McLarty said McKinney, who represented a suburban Atlanta, Georgia, district for six terms as a Democrat, getting to the White House is a “long shot,” but said, “Every vote that she gets helps the Green Party.”
“The United States needs an alternative party,” McLarty said. “The narrow two-party system we have right now has not served us very well.”
The most successful Green party presidential nominee was Ralph Nader, who, in 2000, drew nearly 3 percent of the vote. Nader is running again this year as an independent.
FLASHBACK: In 2006, Pulitzer Prize winning Washington Post columnist Robin Givhan dedicated an entire column to McKinney’s hair, which “appeared to be standing all over her head” during a press conference called by McKinney, who attempted to explain an altercation she had with a police officer.
PHOTO: AP … Read More →
The Senate voted 69 to 28 to pass a bill granting liability protection to telecommunication companies that participated in secret domestic spying for the government after September 11th.
Amending the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the bill allows for the practice of a “no-warrant necessary” surveillance by the government.
Bush, who is expected to sign the bill in a Rose Garden ceremony Thursday afternoon, claims, “This bill will help our intelligence professionals learn who the terrorists are talking to, what they’re saying, and what they’re planning.”
Many see the bill as an infringement on civil liberties, and Bush’s detractors (practically the whole country–or at least those who don’t watch Fox News) see this as another overstep and abuse of power by Bush as he nears the end of his term.
More shockingly, though, is Barack Obama’s vote in favor of the bill (John McCain didn’t vote). “Given the choice between voting for an improved yet imperfect bill, and losing important surveillance tools, Senator Obama chose to support” the legislation, his office told the AP. … Read More →
In its current issue, TIME magazine explores the meaning of patriotism (or love of country) for all Americans.
While both presidential candidates get their own platform in the magazine to share their views, it is Barack Obama’s final words on the topic in his essay (“A Faith in Simple Dreams”) that was a complete tearjerker:
“As a young man of mixed race, without a firm anchor in any community, without even a father’s steadying hand, this essential American ideal — that our destinies are not written before we are born — has defined my life. And it is the source of my profound love for this country: because with a mother from Kansas and a father from Kenya, I know that stories like mine could only happen in America.”
PHOTO: Courtesy of BarackObama.com … Read More →