UPDATE: Turns out Marc Ambinder did at his new blog. (already blogrolled)
I didn’t know if people would write about this, but David Brody did:
For the next hour I sat in my seat in awe. There was conservative Christian “red meat” everywhere. Topics ranged from evolution to abortion, to forgiveness of sin, to prayer, to homosexuality, to whether this is a Christian nation, etc. I mean I was waiting for Soledad O’Brien to pull a “Mission Impossible” move, take off her face mask and reveal…James Dobson!I thought all three candidates came off looking pretty good. Hillary Clinton’s body language was interesting. She leaned in to O’Brien a few times with elbows on the tables. Like they were at the kitchen table and we were listening in. Very effective. From a substance standpoint, I think her answer on abortion where she talked about trying to bring both the pro-life and pro-choice communities together was well thought out and something she can build on throughout the campaign.
Full disclosure. My uncle was one of the organizers of this. I’m headed off to breakfast with him in a little bit, and I am sure that we will talk about this.
First, you have to remember what the political agenda of the event was. It was organized by Jim Wallis, whose book God’s Politics has the subtitle, "The right gets it wrong and the left doesn’t get it." Wallis is trying to get left to get it more. And he is trying to take religion out of the hands of the right. The goal was to expand the number of issues that are discussed in a religious framework, and to make the religion of those on the left more accessible to voters who are religious.
I do think that this will cut both ways for the Democrats. I am sure that many secular Democrats are going to be alarmed by the things that they heard last night. Edwards sounded the most "evangelical" to me, but he is from the South and understands deeply the way that religion is worn on your sleeve. But I found him the most believable. I was struck by Obama’s language which seemed the least overtly religious. This was in contrast to his speech at Selma and a number of other speeches he has given. I thought that Hillary’s seemed a little bit fake when she talked about religion, but she played up her (upper-middle class?) sense of privacy about religion.
In the end, the biggest result of this may be that these clips could be played credibly on Christian radio in a general election. (or even today) A lot of my conservative friends will disagree with me on this, but I think that this could be an important moment in the 2008 election. Not because Democrats will contest for votes of conservative Christians. It is the moderate Christians who are swing voters. By forcing Democrats to talk God, Wallis may have forced open a door and strategy for Democrats.