Katie Couric: What is your favorite book of all time?
Barack Obama: Well, the bible is the book that shaped me and moved me the most. But, in addition to that, Toni Morrison's "Song of Solomon" might be one of my favorite books. It's just a beautiful, beautiful book. And I've gotten a chance to know Toni Morrison during the course of this campaign, and she's just as elegant and wise and thoughtful as you would want her to be. You know, it's always nice to meet somebody and they turn out to be just like you want them to be. She's just a spectacular writer and a spectacular woman.
Shakespeare's tragedies, whether it's "Hamlet" or "[King] Lear." There's so much in each of those tragedies. You can read them once a year and each year, there's something new, there's something you didn't notice. There is some insight into the human dilemma. It's powerful stuff.
John McCain: "For Whom the Bell Tolls." It's about a fella from Montana that goes to Spain to fight for a cause he believes in. His name is Jordan. He falls in love, of course, with a beautiful Spanish young woman, but he's willing - even when disillusioned with a cause he came to fight for, which was the Communists - he's willing to sacrifice his life for his comrades. And that's where I got the phrase "the world is a wonderful place and well worth the fighting for."
We all know that staffers write these things for the candidates and that the answers given are the ones that will either place the candidate in a favourable light with his core constituency or win him some new votes. Was Obama pandering to a new constituency when he cited the bible as his favourite book of all time? I bloody well hope that's what he was doing.