Saturday, August 16, 2008
John McCain, asked by Rick Warren to cite the three wisest people he knows, quickly named General David Petraeus but then seemed stumped. He named John Lewis - a liberal congressman with whom McCain has less in common than most in politics, and then Meg Whitman, EBAY CEO who is in a key player in the McCain campaign . Given that he's been thinking every day about his VP nominee I'm wondering if he sort of panicked and let slip her name. Whitman is a superb strategic choice for VP given that she'd peel away some of Obama's support from middle aged and older women who have been very frustrated to see Hilary Clinton's failure, and Whitman would reinforce McCain's pro business "economically sophisticated" appeal to moderates.
Barack Obama is taking questions at the Saddleback forum from moderate evangelical Pastor Rick Warren. Warren may emerge as a significant player in the election as his moderate philosophy is appealing to many, and the evangelical vote represents a key electoral block. McCain tends to hold most of that vote and will for the election, but if Warren speaks equally about the qualifications of each candidate it'll be a boon to the Obama campaign, possibly justifying for some evangelicals a vote outside of their normal frame of reference. Alternatively if Warren comes out strongly for McCain we could see a new groundswell of the support McCain has lacked so far - the kind of passionate conservative power block that helped GW Bush in both his presidential campaign victories.