Sunday, August 17, 2008

Pastor Rick, Saddleback Church, and the Presumptive Nominees

Perry Bacon Jr.’s post at the Trail (Washington Post) this morning offers an interesting profile of the Rev. Rick Warren who conducted interviews Saturday night of presumptive nominees, Barack Obama and John McCain.

Bacon writes:

“Referred to as ‘Pastor Rick’ by the man he called ‘Barack,’ the evangelical pastor cemented his status as one of American's most influential religious figures as both presidential candidates spent an hour answering tough -- and at times personal -- questions from Warren at a forum on Saturday night at Warren's church in Orange County. It was the first joint appearance by John McCain and Barack Obama since they clinched their parties' nominations, making the nationally-televised event an incredible coup for Warren.

“The pastor in many ways marked the start of the fall campaign when he stood between McCain and Obama on stage midway through the event, after Obama had finished his hour and before the Arizona senator took questions. Both shook hands with Warren, then with each other, providing images that are sure to appear soon in the materials of Warren's Saddleback Church and immediately on the pages of newspapers around the country.

“Obama directly praised the pastor at one point. When Warren asked how the Illinois senator defined being rich, Obama joked, ‘Well, if you've got book sales of $25 million,’ referring to the Warren's best-selling works, the most popular of which is called "The Purpose-Driven Life."

“Warren gave Obama a high-five.”

Read more.

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