In a stunning turn of events Thursday, the Son of God endorsed Barack Obama for President while rejecting and distancing himself from presumptive Republican nominee John McCain.
Outside an Applebee's off the New Jersey Turnpike in Paramus yesterday, Jesus Christ told reporters, "Look, it's been a very divisive primary season between Barack and Hillary. I thought my support would aid the healing process and help unify the Democrats."
Asked if he was a registered Democrat, Jesus replied, "I'm actually registered with the Green Party. But no amount of faith and prayer will get their candidate elected." Christ clarified, "I perform miracles, but there are limits."
Why come out against John McCain?
"You don't have to be the Son of God to prophecy McCain wants to carry out Bush's third term," said Jesus, wearing a flag pin affixed to his traditional white robe. "Incidentally, maybe one of you guys can tell David Brooks there isn't a salad bar at Applebee's. Schmuck."
Later in the day, before Jesus took the stage to endorse the Illinois senator at a campaign rally in Arlington, VA, Obama said, "Well, I'm certainly not perfect, and I won't be a perfect president. Michelle has told me throughout the primary season, "'You're not the Second Coming, Barack.' And though she's right, I am proud and honored to tell you today that Jesus is by my side in this campaign for the White House. And I'm not speaking figuratively, Arlington. Ladies and gentlemen, all the way from the celestial realm, the Prince of Peace, the Mack Daddy of Nazareth, the original change agent - you know him, you love him, many of y'all even pray to him - let's give it up for Je-suuuuuuus Christ!"
Jesus plans to stump for Obama throughout the Bible Belt and other religious hotspots across America. But Obama campaign manager David Plouffe was quick to tamp down the sudden flurry of rumors about an Obama/Christ ticket.
"Of course we're thrilled to have the support of Jesus," says Plouffe. "And he would certainly make anyone's vice-presidential shortlist. But we've promised not to say anymore on the subject until we announce Barack's running mate."
On last night's Special Report with Brit Hume, Karl Rove, whom Jesus referred to as "Satan Lite" at the Arlington rally, told Hume, "We know Jesus is a very recognizable brand. But he has no prior campaign experience. So the jury's still out on his impact. How is Christ on the stump? He may be a skilled shepherd, but does he have that fire in the belly for the rough and tumble of campaigning? As my father used to say, Brit, just because you can turn water into wine, it doesn't mean you can build a birdhouse."
But on MSNBC's Countdown, Rachel Maddow pointed out some specific benefits of Jesus' direct support and counsel. "Well, for one thing, Obama doesn't have to worry about finding a new church to join until after the fall campaign. What will be really troublesome for McCain and the GOP, though, is they can't have it both ways. The can't question Obama's faith in Jesus Christ while the Son of God is literally riding shotgun on the 'Yes We Can' express."
Speaking with CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer on The Situation Room, Candi Crowley cautioned that the big endorsement may backfire.
"In the end, Wolf, this may turn out to hurt the Illinois senator more than it helps him. We know Barack Obama is already vulnerable on national security. So I'm not sure how having the blessing of a guy who coined the phrase 'turn the other cheek' is only going to help him," explained Crowley. "And you can bet that Republicans will be combing through Jesus' past sermons, which include, just for starters, not only extreme preaching of non-violence but also impassioned instruction to, and I'm quoting Matthew 5:44, Wolf, 'Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.' Now, in the middle of the war on terror, it's hard to see how McCain won't hammer Obama on this."
Commenting on The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly said, "Look, we all know that Jesus means well. He always has and that's who he is. Fine. But here in the no-spin zone, we also can't ignore the facts. And the truth is, this guy was a radical going back to his original days on Earth. A hippie and an anarchist who couldn't hold down a job. Jesus Christ, again, a fine lord and savior. I give him full credit for that. But this guy single-handedly created the welfare state and he's the prince of appeasement. Trust me, Neville Chamberlain ain't got nothing on Jesus."
Whatever impact the endorsement might have, the White House was not happy about it.
Asked about Jesus' rejection of McCain and support for Obama, President Bush said, "That's, uh, just not the Jesus I know. It's really heart-breaking. In other words, I was once born again. Okay? And, uh, now I'm feeling a little unborn."
White House press secretary Dana Perino echoed the president's sentiments during this afternoon's press conference.
"Well, it's puzzling and sad. This is not the Jesus we know." Perino added, "And, frankly, his actions are not consistent with the guidance he's given us these past seven and a half years in the White House. Invade Iraq. Tap your phones. Torture's fine. Don't listen to the American people or the rest of the world. So now, after all this time, he's suddenly not George Bush's personal Jesus. I'm not buying it. And neither should you. I think he's done grave damage to his credibility in the mind of most Americans."
Jesus also dropped by The Late Show with David Letterman to read "Top Ten Reasons I'm Not Endorsing John McCain," which included: "Every time I see that blinky eye flutter, I can't help but think, 'Helter Skelter! Helter Skelter!'" "Bomb-bomb-bomb, bomb-bomb, Iran." "Three words: Secretary of Peace." "He is Bush on steroids, with a prostate the size of Texas." "His middle name is Sydney." "He's Dr. Strangelove without the German accent and advanced degrees." And the number one reason? "He called his wife a cunt."
A new 527 ad hit the networks this morning, attacking Obama's latest endorsement:
VISUAL: Series of photoshopped pictures of Barack Obama and Jesus Christ gambling in Atlantic City.
VOICE-OVER: He calls himself the Son of God. But who really is Jesus Christ?
Born to an out-of-wedlock mother and absentee father, Jesus was a direct product of the welfare state and later became a drain on the occupying Roman Empire.
Barack Obama says he's proud to have Jesus by his side. Maybe that's because Barack Obama would've fit right in with Jesus' ultra-liberal, sandal-wearing, appeasing flock or those Ivy League, latte-drinking Wise Men.
While John McCain is committed to winning the war in Iraq even if he has to kill every last Iraqi to do it and nuke Iran back to BC, Obama's closest spiritual advisor, Jesus Christ, continues to preach, "All they that take the sword shall perish by the sword."
Tell that to Ahmadinejad, Jesus.
Barack Hussein Obama. Jesus H. Christ. Two appeasers in a pod.
Don't roll the dice with our national security.
This message was paid for by Swift Boat Clergymen for Truth.
Charlie Crist, the Republican Florida governor who's often mentioned as a possible running mate for John McCain and is rumored to have dropped the "h" in his last name to avoid unfavorable comparisons to Christ, called Obama's acceptance of Jesus' endorsement "the most unholy example of political pandering" and Jesus "a flip-flopping, frankincense-and-myrrh-tea-sipping elitist."
"The fact is, there are many things we don't know about Jesus. Things we're supposed to take on nothing but faith," charged Crist. "We do know, however, that he came to the aid of prostitutes, drug addicts and beggars - the worst of society. And that he healed leapers, the blind, epileptics, a paralytic, a man with dropsy, cast out demons entering a herd of swine, and raised Lazarus from the dead. All well and good, until you consider he had no degree in medicine and no professional training. Which really calls into question his judgment. I call on Senator Obama to denounce Jesus immediately."