John Fund on Obama's explanation for his poor showing on Saturday
The Barack Obama campaign apparently went outside the normal spin guardrails yesterday in trying to explain how John McCain did so well in Saturday's Saddleback Forum with Pastor Rick Warren. As NBC's Andrea Mitchell noted on Sunday's "Meet the Press," what the Obama campaign is "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. . . . He seemed so well prepared."
But Pastor Rick Warren assured CNN that Mr. McCain didn't hear any of the questions in advance, even if the candidate was stuck in traffic and was a bit late arriving to the pre-arranged quiet room or "cone of silence." Charlie Black, a McCain adviser who was with him at the time, confirmed that Mr. McCain was in a motorcade and "then a holding room in another building with no TV." . . .
For its part, the Obama campaign officially says it now assumes both candidates were equally unaware of the questions and isn't interested in pursuing the matter. . . .
Byron York reports this:
In addition, according to Ross, Obama knew a third specific question that Warren would ask — the one about a "president's emergency plan for adoption." "[Warren] felt that since that was basically asking for a commitment, he felt that it was fair to tell them in advance that he was going to ask them that," Ross told me. So Warren told Obama, and planned to tell McCain when McCain arrived at Saddleback, but wasn't able to because of other distractions. So according to what Ross told me, Obama actually knew one more question in advance than did McCain. . . .