The two candidates in this year’s American presidential race, John McCain and Barack Obama, have met onstage for the first time, in a broadcast debate hosted by a leading teleevangelist, Rick Warren.
The two men were quizzed for an hour each mainly on moral issues like abortion, faith, poverty, or homosexual marriage. And the war on terror was never far away.
“There are a lot of questions that as I spoke to experts kept on coming up – Do we know how the Shia and the Sunni and the Kurds are going to get along in a post-Saddam situation? What’s our asessment as to how this will affect the battle against terrorists like al-Qaeda? Have we finished the job in Afghanistan?” said Obama.
The Democrat was applauded; Republican McCain was warmly received, then got stuck into foreign policy.
“We have to not only bring about ceasefire, but we have to have honour. One of the most fundamental rights of any nation is territorial integrity. the Russians must respect the entire territorial integrity of Georgia”, he insisted.
Religious voters plump for McCain by a margin of nearly three to one, but Obama’s showing here will have shored up his mainstream appeal, and may even have convinced some he is electable.