The Corner

McCain & Hagee

is not Obama & Wright. David Reinhard does a good job here

T he requests, demands and suggestions started coming in after my first column on the relationship between the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. and Barack Obama. They multiplied after the cool, collected candidate broke with his red-hot crackpot pastor, and I asked what took so long. Why did it take 20 years for him to denounce Wright’s hate-filled, anti-American ravings?

“I’d really like to read your take on the relationship between John McCain and Rev. John Hagee,” read one of the more civil ones. This one is from the snarky variety: “So here’s your big chance! I look forward to your next column, which will naturally” analyze “McCain’s own embarrassingly hate-filled pastor.” Happy to oblige.

Let’s start with an indisputable fact. Hagee is not McCain’s pastor and never has been. Nor has the pastor of San Antonio’s Cornerstone Church been McCain’s mentor or spiritual adviser. Not for 20 years. Not for two seconds. Hagee’s Texas address should be the giveaway here. It’s tough to have a pastor-mentor-spiritual adviser who lives in Texas when you live in Washington, D.C., or Arizona. Except in the imaginings of folks who need McCain to have his very own Reverend Wright.

Beyond all this, McCain didn’t have his children baptized by Hagee. Or donate thousands of dollars to Hagee’s church. Or name Hagee to a prominent position in his campaign. In sum, McCain did none of the things that would make for an apples-to-apples comparison to the Obama-Wright connection.

Is there any kind of McCain-Hagee “relationship”? Well, the Texas evangelical did endorse McCain, and McCain did seek his endorsement. Is this a “relationship”? If so, does it say anything about McCain?

The answer to both questions: No.

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