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08-18-08, 01:44 AM #1
Rick Warren and the two Candidates
August 16th, 2008 11:28 PM Eastern
A tale of two candidates: McCain vs. Obama on “evil”by Mosheh Oinounou
LAKE FOREST, CA — Tonight’s “Civil Forum” at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church was an illustrative example of contrasts: Barack Obama approached questions intellectually while John McCain went with his gut.
One question exemplified the tale of two candidates, and potentially could have been a commander in chief moment if both candidates had been on stage–how the candidates would deal with “evil” during their respective presidencies.
“Should we ignore it, negotiate with it, contain it or defeat it?” the pastor asked.
“Defeat it,” McCain said without flinching.
“If I have to follow him to the gates of hell, I will get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice. I will do that and I know how to do that. I will get that done,” McCain added decisively, quickly turning the topic to the war on terror–his strength. “No one should be allowed to take thousands of American, innocent American lives. Of course evil must be defeated…we are facing the transcendent challenge of the 21st century–radical Islamic extremists.”
McCain went on to cite al-Qaeda’s use of a mentally disabled suicide bomber last year as an example of “pure evil” and kept the focus on foreign evil.
For his part, Obama, who often answers questions in a way that allows you to get a glimpse into his thought process, acknowledged the premise before responding to the query.
“Evil does exist,” Obama began acknowledging the premise of the question as he ticked off the evils of genocide in Darfur, inner-city crime and child abuse. “I think it has to be confronted. It has to be confronted squarely and one of the things that I strongly believe is that, you know, we are not going to, as individuals erase evil from the world. That is God’s task. but we can be soldiers in that process and we can confront it when we see it.”
Obama then diverted a bit and focused in on the importance of showing “humility” so the U.S. does not perpetrate its own evils.
“The one thing that I think is very important is for us to have some humility in how we approach the issue of confronting evil, but you know a lot of evil has been perpetrated based on the claim that we were trying to confront evil,” Obama added. “Just because we think our intentions are good doesn’t always mean that we’re going to be doing good.”
It makes one wonder if this question would have been an important moment if both men had been on stage and Obama had given the first response. Obama’s answer can be interpreted as a bit halting and while he did use the word “confront,” he turned the question around on potential U.S. evils. Meanwhile, McCain made the question about the foreign enemy and used aggressive, decisive language in his response.
In this hypothetical, it wouldn’t be surprising if McCain would have seized upon Obama’s response to hit him on patriotism or lack of decisiveness. It would also reinforce questions about the first term Senator’s readiness for the Oval Office.
It bears a similarity in fact to the first Democratic debate back in April 2007 when the candidates were asked how they would deal with an al Qaeda attack on two American cities.
Obama said the first thing he would do is make sure the U.S. had an “effective emergency response,” while Hillary Clinton said she would “retaliate.” She was lauded by pundits as passing the commander-in-chief test while he was given an incomplete.
Yes, this is a complete hypothetical but it does make you wonder…"We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." -- George Orwell
08-18-08, 08:24 AM #2
I actually felt better about McCain after watching the forum. I think he was honest didn't try to BS. Obama was trying to answer questions without giving an answer and trying to figure way he could he didn't say it or was misunderstood.
08-18-08, 06:20 PM #3
Obama was being a typical liberal politician. No definative answers. I too, feel better about Sen. McCain.For the morning will come. Brightly will it shine on the brave and true, kindly upon all who suffer for the cause, glorious upon the tombs of heroes. Thus will shine the dawn.
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