Michael Dukakis remembers that you have to be ready for what happens after the convention, too: "You think you've addressed every issue under the sun. You try to do so in your acceptance speech. But it's a whole new ballgame, and you've got to begin, post-convention, as if the campaign has just begun," Dukakis tells the Rocky Mountain News' M.E. Sprengelmeyer.
Saddleback fallout: Who sinned here? "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," Katharine Q. Seelye reports in The New York Times. "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 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."
Team McCain denies that he listened to any of the questioning -- and remember that this crowd is willing and eager to cry foul. "McCain's campaign manager Rick Davis asked Sunday for a meeting with Steve Capus, the president of NBC News, to protest what the campaign called signs that the network is 'abandoning non-partisan coverage of the Presidential race,' " Politico's Mike Allen reports. "The campaign is objecting to a statement by NBC's Andrea Mitchell on 'Meet the Press' questioning whether McCain might have gotten a heads-up on some of the questions that were asked of [Obama.]"
Rick Warren takes McCain's side on the question of unfair advantages: "They're dead wrong. That's just sour grapes," he tells Beliefnet.com's Dan Gilgoff. On Democrats' chances with evangelicals: "Just because a person can say 'God' and 'Jesus' and 'salvation' and whatever doesn't mean they have a worldview. And people want to know what do they believe, not just their personal faith," Warren said.
On the faith forum's substance "The Republican candidate had the easier task in the back-to-back interviews before about 2,800 members of the evangelical church in Lake Forest. He drew frequent applause with crisp answers intended to reinforce his conservative credentials," Maeve Reston and Seema Mehta write in the Los Angeles Times. "Obama offered more nuanced and analytical answers on some issues important to conservative voters: abortion, same-sex marriage and stem-cell research. But Obama, a Christian who until recently attended Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, was more revealing about his faith."
On the big question that split the candidates -- abortion -- McCain's clear answer went over better than Obama's duck . . . for now. "Watching Barack Obama and John McCain handle Pastor Rick Warren's questions about abortion, you could see the whole presidential race in miniature taking shape before our eyes. The clear answer beats the clever one any time . . . unless you worry about the chaos that clarity can bring," Time's Nancy Gibbs writes.