Earlier today, I posted on NewsBusters "CNN's Analysis: At Saddleback, Obama Was 'Thoughtful.'" The piece described how CNN repeatedly described Barack Obama at the Saddleback Church forum as "thoughtful." Other observers saw it differently, thinking Obama appeared evasive and indecisive. His hesitant fumbling especially contrasted with the very specific and resolute responses from John McCain.
The Reverend Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback and the host of the forum, appeared on CNN Newsroom this evening. Questioned by anchor Rick Sanchez, it seems clear Warren got the network memo.
SANCHEZ: There you have two of the responses on two of the questions. Each allotted the same amount of time, by the way, the way we divided that up. Pastor Rick Warren of the Saddleback Church and the author, of course, of "The Purpose-Driven Life." Who hasn't read or heard of that book? Let me start you this way. Were you surprised -- I was just listening to Barack Obama there. Were you surprised that he didn't respond the way Democrats have almost consistently responded in the past, if they happen to have or share his position. They say something like, look, personally I'm against abortion, but I'm not against a law that allows it.
You asked him specifically when does a baby get human rights. He said, it is above my pay grade, at some point. Were you taken aback by his nuanced response?
WARREN: No. Actually, Rick, I think what we saw last night was two personalities exactly playing according to form. I see Barack Obama as kind of the thoughtful consensus builder. I see John McCain as the happy, straight forward warrior. And they both answered exactly according to casting. Just the way they work. One of them tends to get right to the point. Barack is more nuanced. He's more -- he thinks things through.
He's a constitutional attorney. And so it didn't surprise me at all. In fact, it was a good balance to show the difference.
Oh, so that's what we should keep in mind. Obama is a thoughtful consensus builder, a nuanced man who thinks things through, just as you'd expect from a constitutional attorney. By contrast, McCain is simply a happy, straightforward warrior. That's the difference.
Warren has all the makings of a CNN "senior" political analyst. Of course, he probably couldn't take the pay cut.