[Guest post by DRJ]
I’m somewhat surprised the “McCain cheated at Saddleback” story is gaining traction but it seems to be with the mainstream media. ABC News’ Political Punch blog is now calling it Cone-of-Silence-Gate, although that may be tongue-in-cheek, and has already run two stories on the topic here and here.
Ironically, it now turns out that both candidates were told the general topics of Warren’s questions in advance and were given the following 2 questions in advance:
What is your greatest moral failure and the greatest moral failure of the United States?
Who are the three wisest people you know?
It’s ironic because Obama has been especially criticized for his answer to the latter question, in which he included his wife Michelle and his Grandmother as 2 of the 3 wisest people he knows. Now we know he had time to think about the question and ponder a response, which puts it in a different light for me.
In the short term, Obama’s answer was politically savvy because it helps him at the upcoming Democratic Convention. Obama’s focus on the women in his life – women he says are the wisest people he knows – will help convince Hillary supporters he’s a strong supporter of women. I expect Obama to remind Democrats of this answer and even use clips of it at the Convention.
In the long term, Obama’s answer was not wise because it was so political. I don’t think Obama really wants Americans to believe that, if he is elected President, the first people he will turn to for answers to the most pressing problems are his wife and Grandmother. Not only is it a poor message for a potential President to send, I doubt it’s even true. But it is PC.
UPDATE: ABC apparently abbreviated the question. Perhaps it was an oversight or perhaps it was to make Obama’s answer sound better, but here’s the full text of the “wisest people” question [emphasis supplied]:
“WHO ARE THE THREE WISEST PEOPLE YOU KNOW IN YOUR LIFE AND WHO ARE YOU GOING TO RELY ON HEAVILY IN YOUR ADMINISTRATION?”