Watching it, I thought the forum was unsatisfying because it really didn't add to our knowledge of the candidates. Warren wanted to have a probing one-on-one conversation with each candidate, but he didn't have the skills to carry that off. Charlie Rose makes it look easy; it's not. McCain turned the event into a frank campaign rally, bringing forth one talking point after another and speaking to the crowd instead of Warren. Obama, who tried (as much as a candidate for president can) to open his heart and bare some of his uncertainties, wound up looking tentative and sort of ineffectual. Afterward, I wondered why the candidates even submitted themselves to questions about their religious faith. The column by Kathleen Parker (with whom I rarely agree), cited by Celeste Kearney, was right on point. We deserve to hear what the candidates think about public issues. We don't about their faith -- not even, I think, if they have one. I might prefer a candidate who has a religious grounding, but I don't think it's my right to know that.
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