Clever, although the question Perkins asks was put point-blank to the Chosen One at CNN’s “Compassion Forum” in April. Incidentally, “Meacham” is Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, whose magazine is so far in the tank for Obama that their McCain beat reporter was nearly kicked off Maverick’s plane. An obvious choice for moderator, you’ll agree:

MEACHAM: Senator, do you personally believe that life begins at conception? And if not, when does it begin?

OBAMA: This is something that I have not, I think, come to a firm resolution on. I think it’s very hard to know what that means, when life begins. Is it when a cell separates? Is it when the soul stirs? So I don’t presume to know the answer to that question. What I know, as I’ve said before, is that there is something extraordinarily powerful about potential life and that that has a moral weight to it that we take into consideration when we’re having these debates.

That’s not incompatible with the soundbite at the beginning of the clip, where he’s talking about men who don’t provide for their kids after they’re born. In theory, from conception until junior emerges, they’re merely, ahem, “potential fathers.” I wonder why a charming phrase like that has eluded colloquial usage, freighted as it is with the prospect of the baby dying before it’s delivered. Ah well. Like Yuval Levin says, if you want to see Obama tack right on this subject, just have the Supreme Court issue some sort of pro-life ruling before November. That always seems to do the trick.