Monday, August 18, 2008

Above His Pay Grade? Did Obama Say That?

The Saddleback political forum, which was hosted by Pastor Rick Warren and featured presumptive nominees Barack Obama and John McCain, will be remembered as the night the momentum shifted in the 2008 election. News outlets have been wondering out loud where the Evangelicals have been in this year's presidential race? For the past 18 months, these sleeping lions have not come out in force to rally around either of the major party presidential hopefuls. Speculation has been that many, who supported George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004, may stay home in November... letting this year's election chips (or dimpled, hanging chads) fall where they may.

Well, the mighty 'roar' heard in many faith communities across the nation the day after Pastor Warren's Faith and Values non-debate, was the sound of Evangelicals who have been jarred from their dens of comfort, and will begin interjecting their voices and presence into this election cycle now... by Golly!

What was the game changer? Senator Barack Obama's answer versus John McCain's answer to Pastor Warren's question: "At what point does a baby get human rights in your view"?

McCain stated, in no uncertain terms:

"At the moment of conception."

Contrast that to Obama's eye-popping response... one that he can rest assured will hound him through November 5th:

"Well, I think that whether you are looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know is above my pay grade."

"Above his pay grade?" Now critics can berate Pastor Warren and challenge that question as a 'trick question" or a "question tailor-made" for Senator McCain, the Republican. But Obama had to know when he accepted the invitation to appear at this event that two issues are guaranteed to mobilize the evangelical base: keeping the homefront safe from radicals and terrorists... and what a future president thinks about the lives of innocent, unborn babies in this country.

And, because many Americans really don't know or trust Obama, some tuned into this much-hyped forum to evaluate him specifically... but both the candidates as well, side-by-side. Why no abortion policy statement handy? Or a well thought-out answer justifying whatever his position is or will be, ready to articulate to the American people in anticipation of this question?

But for Obama to present this "Above my pay grade" answer as meaningful thought in the political debate added insult to injury? Was it intended as a flippant retort? Was it supposedly a bad joke that went wrong? Whatever his reason or rationale... that remark is out there now, and... like toothpaste out of the tube... it can't be retracted.

The abortion conversation is certain to be a front and center wedge issue in this election. And Obama's ill-prepared 'pay grade' remark, forces those in bloggersville to further scrutinize all of his abortion voting records as an Illinois State Senator, and any positions on the subject that he has articulated for the past 20 years, to circulate to the millions of evangelicals... who, by the way, won't be sitting this election cycle out now, for sure!

1 comment:

Arlender said...

I look forward to each of your blogs with great anticipation. You always present a fair and balanced opinion about the candidates. I usually find myself doing more research about your topics because they always inspire me to know more.

Obama's comment about abortion does not suprise me. I have never been a supporter of his although I voted in the Democratic Primary. I believe the Democrats have forfeited an opportunity to re-take the White House.

I also believe that God has a plan for this nation and that He will ensure that the person whom He has chosen to carry out that plan will be elected. We'll just have to wait to see who he/she is.

Keep up the good work!