As the furor over Barack Obama selecting divisive bigot Rick Warren to deliver a prayer on Inauguration Day trickles through the news cycle, it’s time to answer some unexplored questions. Such as: How did Team Obama even think this guy was a good choice? And if Obama is so proud of Warren, why did he try to sneak his name past the public after deciding on him?
Reports muckraking Salon: “Linda Douglass, a spokeswoman for Obama’s inauguration committee and a senior advisor during the campaign, told Salon later that picking [Pastor Rick] Warren “was not a political decision,” which is usually the surest sign that something was exactly that. Obama aides wouldn’t go into the decision-making process that led to Warren’s selection, but Douglass admitted they predicted some of the fury it caused ahead of time. “People don’t go into these kinds of decisions unaware that there might be some criticism, but on the other hand, the overriding goal, again, was this message of inclusivity,” she said.”
And meanwhile, how did we even learn Obama had chosen Warren to deliver a prayer? In secret.
Salon: “Making matters worse, the Obama team evidently decided not to alert anyone who was likely to be upset about the pick ahead of time. News of Warren’s involvement in the inauguration came out of the congressional committee working on the inauguration instead of from Obama’s own inaugural committee, a wholly separate entity. At least initially, aides for Obama’s inaugural committee said the decision had come from Congress, not Obama. In fact, that wasn’t the case at all. “That was solely the choice of the president-elect,” said Gil Duran, a spokesman for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who chairs the congressional committee. Obama’s staff sent explicit orders for whom to include in the inaugural ceremony up to Capitol Hill, since Congress is, technically, in charge of that part of the day. “Sen. Feinstein obviously disagrees with the views of Rev. Warren on issues that affect the gay and lesbian community,” Duran said. “However, Sen. Feinstein respects the president-elect’s prerogative to select a cleric to deliver the invocation.” (That one doesn’t need any translation — Feinstein’s office was politely, respectfully, throwing Obama under the bus.)”