After taking a break from spending so many hours watching the debates and primary coverage, Saturday night felt like a homecoming of sorts. Obama and McCain joined Pastor Rick Warren at his Saddleback Church for the Civil Forum. Each candidate would have an hour alone with Warren and answer the same set of questions. Warren also mentioned that McCain was in a “cone of silence”, which most people presumed that meant there was no way McCain could have access to the exact questions asked or Obama’s answers.
Although, Obama was in front a conservative Christian crowd, I felt that he did very well, showing his thoughtfulness and intelligence. McCain came out and quickly answered the questions. Although some said McCain was authoritative, personally, I had thought he sounded rehearsed and was allowed to continually give “campaign stump” answers, which Warren had specifically warned Obama against, but McCain was allowed to do so repeatedly.
Then the story breaks that in fact, McCain WAS NOT in a “cone of silence”, he was in his motorcade and did not arrive at the church for at least 30 minutes after Obama began his interview. The McCain camp furiously denies McCain heard the questions and Obama’s responses: “The insinuation from the Obama campaign that John McCain, a former prisoner of war, cheated is outrageous.” (It’s strange that McCain said he would not use his POW experience as a way to get elected, but referenced it many times during the Civil Forum and here again in this statement, seems like McCain’s motto is: SURGE-P.O.W.-DRILL NOW!) The question is not whether not McCain cheated, but whether or not he had a chance to cheat after the audience was assured that McCain was in a cone of silence.
Kudos to Andrea Mitchell for being brave enough mention the possibility that McCain could have had unfair access, while the rest of the McCain-loving media waits to see how this will play out. (Although the following interview was done by CNN, CNN seems to want to back off story.)
Code of silence…not so much: