A little of my reaction to the Rick Warren discussions (My paraphrasing. I have no transcript.)
RW: How should we approach evil?
John McCain: Defeat it.
If I have to chase him to the gates of hell I will get Bin Laden. And I know how to do it.
My take: Great, Senator, tell President Bush what you "know" so it can be done now. What hogwash! I think you have your hero's (Teddy Roosevelt) most famous motto backwards. You boast about a stick you don't and won't have. Yes, we should try our best to get Bin Laden. I think we will eventually. We don't need to brag about it -- reference Bush's "Bring 'em on!"
Barack Obama: Confront it. But be careful to do it with the humility that recognises that no one has a monopoly on truth and wisdom, and that sometimes good intentions have resulted in further evil.
My take: Obama responds thoughtfully to Warren in a conversation. More nuanced. Less platitude. Less evasion. He just answers the questions. McCain delivers soundbites directly to the camera.
RW: What is your greatest moral shortcoming?
McCain: The failure of my first marriage.
My take: It is "the failure" not "my philandering". He quickly jumps to other matters without confronting directly and forthrightly the sorry lifestyle he led as a serial adulterer and as a deserter of an ailing wife for a 25 year-old mistress.
Obama: I led a rough life as a youth. I experimented with drugs and alcohol. I was selfish.
My take: Again, Obama gives a real answer, honestly confronting his failings and thoughtfully explaining his interpretation of the failings AND what he learned from them.
Overall: John McCain reinforced my impression that he would be Bush's third term. He is simplistic. Blustery. Confrontational. He lacks the temperament and judgment that we need in a President.
And Obama renforced my impression that he is thoughtful, wise, reasonable, moderate, honest.
What an inspiring candidate! Vote Obama!