Strategy ’08

Obama vs. the other guy, 2008

McCain Knew Questions at Faith Forum

So everyone is gushing over McCain’s showing at the Faith Forum last night. Andrea Mitchell raised the possibility that the Obama camp thought McCain knew the answers in advance:

MS. ANDREA MITCHELL: Oh, absolutely. And, you know, there was the crisp, immediate, forceful response by John McCain, clearly in a comfort zone because he was with his base. And Barack Obama, taking a risk in going there but seeing an opportunity. And a much more nuanced approach. The Obama people must feel that he didn’t do quite as well as they might have wanted to in that context, because that–what they’re putting out privately is that McCain may not have been in the cone of silence and may have had some ability to overhear what the questions were to Obama.


MS. MITCHELL: He seemed so well prepared.

Now we have confirmation that McCain wasn’t in the so-called ‘cone of silence’ as was previously stated. Rick Sanchez of CNN gets the scoop:

[P]astor rick warren just told me on air he thought mccain was in a cone of silence when he told people he was, though he wasn’t. got it?

But wait, McCain said in the first part of his interview that he was:

John and Rick have some explaining to do.

Update: And here is the explanation:

Some questioned whether that late arrival might have allowed McCain to hear some of the questions being first posed to Obama.

Warren told CNN Sunday evening, “we flat out asked him” if he heard any of the questions. The McCain campaign “confirmed that McCain did not hear or see any of the broadcast” in the motorcade or after he arrived, Ross said.

When asked if McCain overheard anything, Charlie Black, a McCain adviser who was with him at the time, told CNN: “We were in motorcade until 5:30 p.m. ET; then a holding room in another building with no TV.”

Warren said, “I trust the integrity of both” candidates, and said he “knew they would abide by the rules.” He joked McCain may not have been in the cone of silence, but “he was in the cone of a Secret Service motorcade”.

Yeah, right.

CNN Video of Interview.


August 17, 2008 - Posted by | Battleground States, Media Strategy | , , ,


  1. Hate to say this – but Andrea Mitchell is right. While the substance of this story is undoubtedly true, the reason it’s been spinning around the blogosphere so much is because Obama didn’t do as well as he could have in relation to McCain.

    Comment by dansac | August 18, 2008 | Reply

  2. I hate to say this, but you’re wrong. Its a lot more than that. I’ve watched McCain on his stump speech and I’ve seen him give speeches on TV numerous times.
    I’ve NEVER seen him so “johnny on the spot” ever.
    On top of that he gave answers to questions before he was even asked. For example: Inquiring about getting “back to” Supreme court justices, when it hadn’t been brought up yet. Or the answer to the question about increasing pay for teachers. Warren never even asked him the questions before he answered them.
    This may seem like a small issue to you, but we keep saying the integrity of the President is essential.
    If this is the case, then perhaps we really need to check ourselves on deciding what’s acceptable and what’s not.
    We let a cavalier ‘devil may care’ kinda guy into the white house for less than a decade and we’ll be paying for that mistake for many more years to come.
    That’s some “straight talk” for you.

    Comment by Ayodeji A | August 18, 2008 | Reply

  3. It should not be that hard to find out if McCain was talking to his staff during comercial breaks,getting the next set of questions before he was asked them,since Barack and he were to be given the same questions in the same order.

    Comment by P.B. | August 18, 2008 | Reply

  4. I completely agree that McCain had the questions before hand.

    If you don’t mind – this is what I blogged.

    Comment by Will Rhodes | August 18, 2008 | Reply

  5. I thought Obama did fine myself, but McCain’s 5 second soundbites play better. Sad, but unfortunately true. He will have to work on that for the debates.

    Comment by turneresq | August 18, 2008 | Reply

  6. John McCain made a Freudian slip slip when he asked about the Supreme Court Justice. He asked if he was gone to get a chance to speak about the justice. “Like Obama did” Yet no one has mentioned that little fact. How else did he know there was a question on the Justices? Tonight the Pastor Warren cleaned it up with an explanation. Go Figure. The Republicans are at their old tricks again. Shame on them.

    Comment by GJ | August 18, 2008 | Reply

  7. So an audience member text messages to a McCain staffer who’s in the car w. McCain. It might be even easier than anyone thinks. McCain didn’t have to “see” a tv or “hear” the questions. A staffer could pose the questions without anyone but he and the text messenger knowing about it.

    Comment by Michael | August 18, 2008 | Reply

  8. You cannot deny John McCains service in the military and
    being a POW. To the questioned on the most difficult decison he made, he says it was to stay a POW and let other
    POW’s go first is very commendable. But, many people in
    the military, when it come to put their fellow soldiers first, it was not a difficult decision, it was automatic.
    Why was not one of his most difficult decisions was about
    going to war in Iraq, where thousands of of soldiers would
    get killed and tens of thousands wounded, the cost of the
    war, etc. It seems like that would be a dificult decision
    to make to send our troops in harms way and send our country into war. No mention of that. And they were wrong
    about the Weapones of Mass Destruction.

    Comment by Cole | August 18, 2008 | Reply

  9. McCain knew the questions, any moron can see that. For a man known to forget this and that and flub over the simpliest things, suddenly, MIRACULOUSLY, he turns into this wizened whiz-kid on speed.

    Get real. But most of America is just dumb enough to fall for it.

    Comment by taylor Siluwe | August 18, 2008 | Reply

  10. Though I agree that McCain did better than Obama, I doubt that the discussion will have much of an effect on anything. Given a choice of a religious/political discussion on a Saturday night in August, most of the relatively few people who were home watching television were tuned to the Olympics. McCain was going to get the conservative evangelical vote, anyway, though he may have boosted his credibility with the folks he once termed “agents of intolerance.” Obama may have countered the ongoing fiction that he is a Muslim, though the people stupid enough to believe that may not be able to figure out how to vote, anyway–and if they do, they weren’t going to vote for Obama.

    I am a bit troubled that the candidates felt they needed to attend a church-sponsored discussion at all, a further complication of what I see as an often negative relationship between religion and presidential politics. It would bother me less if the candidates felt equally compelled to answer questions from a union leader, a state governor, the mayor of a major American city (New Orleans or New York, perhaps?), a panel of teachers and parents, and a panel of economists.

    Comment by James McPherson | August 18, 2008 | Reply

  11. My first thought while watching was “what happened to Mccain?” He was like a lit firecracker popping out answers with no forethought. I absolutely believed before anything came out about him not being in a cone of silence that he was NOT in a cone of silence. Just another example of his sleazy nature and total lack of character.

    Comment by Chris Poe | August 18, 2008 | Reply

  12. McCain rattled off those four justices faster than I can name my four nieces.

    Comment by Mickey Anthony | August 18, 2008 | Reply

  13. It is clear to me that McCain lied and cheated just like he did on his first wife. The guy is a joke, he needs to be corrected by his side-kick Joe Liberman, on who tha enemy is. He knew the answers to the questions that is easy to see. He answered the question on teaching without the question being completely asked. That is how stupid he really is. He can’t even cove-up his own lied and deception.

    Comment by lisa | August 19, 2008 | Reply

  14. This suggestion is unfounded and based on made up theories.

    Comment by Brandon | August 19, 2008 | Reply

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