To hear the crowd at Saddleback Church tell it, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., definitely had a good night.
One of the reasons cited by parishioners had to do with McCain telling his personal story. A
sked the most gut wrenching decision he’s ever had to make, for instance, McCain said, “It was long ago and far away in a prison camp in North Vietnam. My father was a high ranking admiral. The Vietnamese came and said that I could leave prison early. And we had a code of conduct that said you only leave by order of capture. I also had a dear and beloved friend who was from California by the name Ed Alvarez who had been shot down and captured a couple years before me…
“So I said no. Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I'm very happy I didn't know the war was going to last for another three years or so. but I said no and I'll never forget sitting in my last answer and the high ranking officer who offered it slammed the door and the interrogator said go back to your cell it's going to be very tough on you now. And it was. But not only the toughest decision I ever made but I'm most happy about that decision than any decision I've ever made in my life.
"Can I finally say? It took a lot of prayer, it took a lot of prayer.”
He also told the Christmas story.
On other issues -- abortion, judges, faith-based organizations' hiring, bad teachers' firing -- McCain gave the conservative answers that the crowd seemed to want. But beyond that, reviews seem to indicate it was one of the best -- if not the very best -- of McCain's speaking performances in this election cycle.