(3rd Essay in a Series of 5 from the Future Broadcast Company's The Black Right with Keith Bryant, www.theblackright.com)
"We have safely placed Senator McCain in a cone of silence"
Pastor Rick Warren at the Civil Forum on August 15th, 2008
One envisions Senator McCain Sitting in an isolation booth with a Secret Agent or two, drinking water and cracking some of those sardonic dry ice jokes that are his brand of humor. Senator McCain has no idea of what is going on. He can be a sweet, affable man who has known a thing or two about solitude - as a POW who came to prominence in the national scene after he spent 5 years (3 of which were by request rather than receive favorable treatment) in North Vietnamese captivity.
"Was the cone of silence you were in, comfortable?"
Pastor Rick Warren at the Civil Forum
"I was trying to hear through the wall."
Senator McCain at the Civil Forum at Saddleback
I learned more about Senator John McCain within the hour of Pastor Rick Warren's tough answer and question session, than throughout the last two national elections against George Bush and in the Republican Primaries. What impressed me, sitting live in the audience, was his focus on connecting with the audience as he referred to us regularly, "My friends." A bit old fashioned but it did the trick. I was impressed with his decisiveness (and humbleness) when asked about his life's moral failings (his first divorce) as well as the scope of his experience when compared to the philosophical approach Senator Obama took when answering the same questions. I thought to myself as he relayed his stories of the 5 year stint in the North Vietnamese and exercising his faith, that this was a man of measurable integrity and substance.
"Okay let me ask you this. This is a character question."
Pastor Rick Warren at the Civil Forum
"I hope they get easier." Senator McCain at the Civil Forum at Saddleback
Okay so Senator McCain was not in complete isolation, he was in a motorcade for one half of Senator Obama's interview with accessibility to cell phones (therefore advisors) and the radio. HE KNEW GOT THE EXAM BEFORE HE GOT INTO THE TEST. Many people I know longstanding Democrats and avowed Republicans were impressed, as was I, with the strength decisiveness of Senator McCain's answers on Taxes, Abortion ("I am pro-life") and how quickly he rattled off 1.) General David Petreus 2.) Congressman John Lewis and 3.) CEO Meg Whitman of EBAY as his Â‘kitchen cabinet' of advisors. In hindsight the answer comes off contrived like you know, Â‘ A white guy, a black guy and a woman." Or "Military, Civil Rights and Corporate." Senator John McCain didn't look calculating, his answers didn't come off as contrived or acted out.
"First question is who were the three wisest people that you know that you would rely heavily in an administration.
Pastor Rick Warren at the Civil Forum interviewing Senator McCain after Obama
The one thing the nation has learned from 8 years of a President George W. Bush administration: A Â‘C' Student is a Â‘C' Student is a Â‘C' Student. After knowing Senator McCain graduated at the bottom of his West Point class and also had a father and grandfatherÂ in positions of power and influence (a decorated US Navy Admiral), nobody can feel comfortable with the parallels between Bush and McBush. The whole scenario smacks of the shenanigans of George W. Bush and weapons of mass destruction, the pretext for invasion in Iraq and what has been termed in certain circles as the single biggest strategic blunder in American foreign policy. No wonder the Republicans sought character assassination as their chosen weapon of war- The Iraq War, The Economy (one of the most troubling scenarios since the Great Depression), The Energy Crisis (T. Boone Pickes quote: "The largest transfer of wealth in American history").
Perhaps, George Bush is the incorrect parallel. Perhaps a better parallel would be Senator Clinton and herÂ Bosnian mea culpa and/or fracas as the nation came to find she fudged the truth of she and Chelsea surviving incoming fire v. the document footage of her calmly walking off the tarmatÂ with a crew ofÂ politicos, mediaÂ and army officials calmly in tow.
"Who are the three wisest people you know in your life and who are you going to rely upon heavily in your administration?" Rick Warren at the Civil Forum
"You mentioned one person I'd be listening to and that's Michelle, my wife, who is not only wise but she is honest." Barack Obama at the Civil Forum
Wow. On about 3 different levels- wow, wow and wow. Michelle as Top Advisor- an almost novel precept given the mass distortion African American women have suffered in the mainstream press over the past 10 years or so.
What? Oprah Winfrey as the super paradigm of the black women - or as the Black Right's moderator, Keith Bryant, observed on his show, The Cosby White House, Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown? We folks of brown complexion and dark, rich lives have been starved for representations outside of the mass hallucination that has been hip hop, where images of our women have As Lauren Sharma observed on the same show mentioned previously, there hasn't been any one in the mass mindset of media since Clara Huxtable (Philicia Rashad) I think my wife is damn near exotic (she is) because of the hours she puts in for our son, around the house and on the job. Might be she is a general in an army.
Wow, as we watch Cindy McCain sitting dutifully in the audience at Saddleback church moved by her husband's frank admissions of vulnerability and faith during imprisonment at the Â‘Hannoi Hilton' in North Vietnam. Wow as we realize Michelle Obama has been carrying on the responsibilities of two girls heading into adolescence and the needs of a black man experience the world as no other since those kingdoms in Ghana, Songhay, Egypt and Mali. "Bedrock of the Obama family" Barack Obama introduced Michelle Obama on stage during the Democratic Primaries. Senator Obama could have mentioned any number of politicos (David Plouff, Tom Daschall, Ted Kennedy), economist and business men (T. Boone Pickens, George Soros, Warren Buffet), or advisors generally at his disposal (General David Petreus, Oprah Winfrey, Susan Rice)- he said Michelle Obama, my wife. That's the household I grew up in as my parents were partners in marriage and in life, not at all unlike the Â‘new' model Bill and Hillary gave us prior to the distortions wrought by Monica Lewisnky and Co.
Is it possible that we would have a Queen Bee as Queen? It would sure put a whole new spin on when black men woo with, "You are my black African queen."
(Part 4 in a 5 Essay Series)
The Highroad: Thank God Almigthy, We are Freeing Up