An editorial in the Jesuit’s America magazine recently predicted that Sen. Barack Obama will profit by the upcoming visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United States.
The moment the Holy Father denounces the war in Iraq, it will provide a “big opening for Sen. Obama,” according to Michael Sean Winters.
There’s a lot of Press handicapping going on in the leadup to the papal visit to America next week. That snip represents some of it.
But this is how the more informed and engaged analysts connect the dots when headlines put ‘the Catholic vote’ behind Obama:
The question is whether Catholic voters can be persuaded to overlook his extreme stances on the life issues, all of which are opposed to Catholic teaching, in order to register their protest against an unpopular war and those who supported it — namely, John McCain.
Currently polls show McCain either narrowly ahead or even with both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. It is impressive considering how poorly the GOP, and specifically the president, are viewed by the public.
Powered by the same appeal to Democrats and independents that fueled his primary election success, McCain is leading Barack Obama 48 percent to 42 percent and Hillary Clinton 51 percent to 40 percent according to RNC polling done late last month.
The key word in this article about the latest jabs the Democratic candidates for president are taking at each other is that it’s been a “long” campaign.
New York Sen. Clinton and Illinois Sen. Obama traded barbs in Pennsylvania, whose April 22 vote is the next milepost in a long campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination to determine who will face McCain in the November election.
McCain’s talk about a long struggle is in reference to the war, an issue the Democratic candidates are using against him.
“It’s long and it’s hard and it’s tough. We are frustrated,” he said at a campaign event in Westport, Conn., adding the war had been mismanaged by former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. “This new strategy is succeeding, although it’s very difficult,” McCain said.
Weeks of brooding over the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Michelle Obama eruptions have severely shaken the hope I expressed in January: “If Barack Obama can show he is tough enough and pragmatic enough to win the presidency and serve with distinction, it would be the best thing that could happen to America and the world.”
The question of Obama’s judgment is raised here, the issue the remains when the rest are explained away or excused. But there’s more.
Also disturbing is the bleak picture of America painted by Obama’s closest adviser, his wife, Michelle, in highly newsworthy comments, most of which the media have chosen to ignore.
First of all, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan is more certain than most of the media and political pundits that the U.S. is not currently in a recession, though he thinks odds are 50/50 that we’re headed for one. That’s interesting right there…
Second, he endorsed John McCain for president. Which at least puts McCain back in the news again, if only in passing. Dick Morris was wondering where he had gone.
He’s the guy who was running for president before all the national attention shifted to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Now, McCain seems to be only an afterthought, at best, or an anachronism, at worst. He has got to get back into the game, otherwise he will never be in contention…
The conversations, debates and introspection on race in America continue, and though they encompass the nation and its leaders, they center on Barack Obama.
After he gave his speech to address the Jeremiah Wright controversy and the racial tension it produced, he was compared by some to leaders ranging from Presidents Lincoln or Kennedy, and Wright to Dr. Martin Luther King. Political analyst Juan Williams explains well why neither analogy is apt, and he offers compelling insights about the candidacy of Barack Obama.
Among his white supporters, race is coincidental, not central, to his political identity. Mr. Obama is to them the candidate who personifies the promise of equal opportunity for all. But as black support has become central to his victories, this idealistic view has been increasingly at war with the portrayal, crafted by the senator to win black support, of him as the black candidate. The terrible tension between these racially…
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Traversing the country this week on a tour of places that have shaped his life and informed his values, John McCain spoke in strikingly personal language to introduce himself to the American public.
But missing so far is any significant mention of religious faith.
In an Oprah Winfrey era in which soul-baring and expressions of faith are the norm for public figures, the presumptive Republican nominee, open and candid about much else, retains a shroud of privacy around his Christianity.
Funny, how recently the media expected public figures, and especially political candidates, to keep their religious beliefs private. Now, John McCain is being scrutinized for being too private about his faith.
He has inspired hope, promised change and debated race. He has even turned the Pennsylvania primary into more of a contest by hitting the details that matter to people, says Time’s Joe Klein.
But there was still something missing. I noticed it during Obama’s response to a young man who remembered how the country had come together after Sept. 11 and lamented “the dangerously low levels of patriotism and pride in our country, the loss of faith in our elected officials.” Obama used this, understandably, to go after George W. Bush. “Cynicism has become the hot stock,” he said, “the growth industry during the Bush Administration.” He talked about the Administration’s mendacity, its incompetence during Hurricane Katrina, its lack of transparency. But he never returned to the question of patriotism. He never said, “But hey, look, we’re Americans. This is the greatest country on earth. We’ll rise to the occasion.”
The McCain campaign’s Catholic outreach, which has gone largely unnoticed, is part of a larger effort to build bridges with religious voters who are key to the Republican’s presidential prospects – a constituency Mr. McCain has long had trouble with.
“If he can get Catholics and evangelicals together in a coalition, that would make him very difficult to defeat,” said political scientist Mark Rozell of George Mason University.