Continuing on yesterday's post about Rick Warren's Saddleback Forum; having gone over accounts and transcripts of the event, what really jumped out at me is how John McCain's experience as both a politician and a human being became a significant advantage over his opponent for the first time in this campaign. Warren's questions were, in he words of Byron York, not about "what appeared on the front page of the morning's Washington Post." They were about these candidates as men, and on this there is no comparison: John McCain is a more complete individual than Barack Obama. And honestly, how could he not be? McCain has a quarter-century of experience on his opponent, and the events that he has lived through are more than most people can fathom. He's a man with real accomplishments and real experiences; in short, he's lived a life in full.
Obama hasn't. The truth is that while we hear a lot about Obama's biography, his life story does not have the sort of spectacular quality that McCain's does. That's okay; very few people have lives that can compare to John McCain's. But Obama likes to pretend that there is parity between his story and McCain's, and that the Arizona Senator's experience in both politics and life should make no difference to voters when they make their decision this fall.
But last night's forum demonstrated how McCain's superior experience will become a real advantage against Obama. His answers were crisp, direct, and had far more depth than Obama's. He demonstrated a clear command of the issues and took the opportunity to talk about his time as a pilot, a congressman, and a senator to explain his current positions on issues. Obama, meanwhile, talked about his wife and his grandmother, and dodged questions that he said were "above my pay grade." The contrast couldn't be more clear.
Update: Predictably, the Left can't believe that Obama was outperformed. Therefore, McCain must have cheated.