I don't want to get to overheated about what occurred tonight, but I do think McCain had a clear and decisive victory over Obama. It all comes down to something that Phil Bredesen, the Democratic governor of Tennessee recently said about Obama: “Instead of giving big speeches at big stadiums, he needs to give straight-up 10-word answers to people at Wal-Mart about how he would improve their lives.”
When asked "At what point does a baby get human rights, in your view?," McCain answered "At the moment of conception." Obama's answer here was flaming-dirigible bad:Whether you are looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity is, you know, above my pay grade.
That spectacularly inept metaphor is going to haunt Obama throughout the rest of the campaign. News flash: There's not a job on the planet above the pay grade of the President of the United States. If you can't solve every problem and are humble about it, that's fine — but you can't get away with being unsure about the most defining moral issue in politics. Of course, he didn't put down the shovel:But let me speak more generally about the issue of abortion. Because this is something, obviously, the country wrestles with. One thing that I’m absolutely convinced of is that there is a moral and ethical element to this issue. And So I think that anybody who tries to deny the moral difficulties and gravity of the abortion issue is not paying attention.
So after completely hedging on the question and declining to give a specific answer — he wants to speak "more generally" about the issue? And, lo and behold, speak more generally he does: "I’m absolutely convinced of is that there is a moral and ethical element to this issue." In related news, Obama is also "absolutely convinced" that the sky is blue, water is wet and puppies are adorable. None of this, however, tells me a thing about his judgment and moral worldview.
I wonder if some conservative, pro-life Christians will warm up to McCain after this.
UPDATE: Instapundit links to a lots of other blogs on this debate.
And Allah goes to the video on Clarence Thomas. I'm standing by my call -- biting the word in half isn't the same as not saying it. In fact, it kind of underscores things that he recognized the error himself, doesn't it? "Holy crap, I can't say that!"
Nuance: Obama almost says Clarence Thomas didn’t have enough experience to serve
Ann Althouse has a question / answer summary at her website.
Thanks to FreeRepublic posters for the images.