Monday, September 01, 2008

At the Crossroads

Traditionally, Labor Day kicks off the final sprint of the presidential campaign... and while this cycle was no exception, in a strange aisle-spanning confluence, the holiday just so happened to find Philadelphia churchmen at center-stage of the political Thunderdome.

As his party's convention in the Twin Cities opened on a quiet note, the Republican nominee-in-waiting John McCain touched down in the River City earlier this afternoon, where he was quickly whisked to Cardinal Avenue (The Residence) for a half-hour audience with Pharaoh -- who, as chair of the USCCB's Committee for Pro-Life Activities, led the national hierarchy's unprecedented public correction of the Speaker of the House last week.

What transpired wasn't disclosed, but the locals did let slip that a similar sit-down would be extended to Barack Obama should the Democratic nominee seek it. McCain also met with donors and his regional campaign chiefs on the low-profile trip, which concludes tomorrow.

Meanwhile, up the Blue Route in Scranton, Obama's running mate Joe Biden got a hero's welcome at his boyhood home today... albeit one overshadowed by buzz that, given Bishop Joseph Martino's record of "strong support" for refusing the Eucharist to Catholic politicians of the pro-choice kind, the Delaware senator of said stance could find himself turned away from the rail in the northeastern diocese.

...and with 63 days 'til November 4th -- headlined by an Al Smith Dinner along the way -- much, much more to come.