I've mentioned before that Sen. Barack Obama's performance at Saturday evening's Civil Forum on the Presidency at Saddleback Church was noticably inferior to that of John McCain. Where Obama paused, uhhh'd and stumbled his way through much of the evening, McCain appeared in his element and much better composed.
Obama's people have taken these disparate performances and come to the only logical conclusion that is possible: McCain cheated and heard the questions ahead of time.
The New York Times outlined the points of contention with this story today:
Despite Assurances, McCain Wasn’t in a ‘Cone of Silence’
By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE
Published: August 17, 2008
ORLANDO, Fla. — Senator John McCain was not in a “cone of silence” on Saturday night while his rival, Senator Barack Obama, was being interviewed at the Saddleback Church in California.
Members of the McCain campaign staff, who flew here Sunday from California, said Mr. McCain was in his motorcade on the way to the church as Mr. Obama was being interviewed by the Rev. Rick Warren, the author of the best-selling book “The Purpose Driven Life.”
The matter is of interest because Mr. McCain, who followed Mr. Obama’s hourlong appearance in the forum, was asked virtually the same questions as Mr. Obama. Mr. McCain’s performance was well received, raising speculation among some viewers, especially supporters of Mr. Obama, that he was not as isolated during the Obama interview as Mr. Warren implied.
Warren defended his spellcasting skills. A level 30 cleric, Warren said he cast the "Silence, 15' Radius" spell directly upon Sen. John McCain immediately before appearing on stage. Although McCain was in a motorcade and not yet on site, Warren pointed out that the spell has a range of 400 ft. + 40 ft./level, giving Warren a more than 1/4 mile range.
Warren also pointed out, that he called it a "cone" of silence so that the less-religious members of the media would better understand what he had done.
"All clerics know that it is actually a sphere," Warren said.
Obama's supporters pointed out that McCain, who suffered for 5+ years in a North Vietnamese prison camp, has a very high willpower score and could've made a saving throw.
"You can't go through what he went through and not have a willpower of at least 18," said an Obama campaign official who requested anonymity because he is not authorized to speak with the press. "It's very uncommon for humans, but McCain could even have developed an even higher willpower than that."
Obama campaign officials also suggested that McCain or one of his advisors may have cast a "Clairaudience" spell enabling them to hear the questions.
"One of our supporters witnessed a McCain staffer carrying several horns into the green room," the campaign official said. "When Obama entered the room a short time later, the horns were gone."
A horn is necessary to cast the clairaudience spell.
McCain officials dismissed the claims, noting that while McCain has reasonably high intelligence and wisdom scores, he is a fighter (pilot) by profession and is untrained in the arcane arts.
"If McCain wants to find out what's on someone's mind, he uses an ax," said McCain spokesman Michael Goldfarb.
Scientists contacted by the Times dispute the ability of Warren to cast any "magic" spell.
"Cone, sphere, call it whatever you want, it's not scientifically possible," said Richard Dawkins, a chaotic/evil (character) assassin. "Yes, we have noise-cancelling headphones, but you can't focus those physics into a shape like a sphere or cone."