To me, the news of Rick Warren praying at the Presidential Inauguration in January is as shocking as C.C. Sabathia going to the Yankees or O.J. Simpson going to jail. It just makes sense.
Rick Warren is indeed an evangelical Christian. His views are more conservative than liberals prefer. He's a tad bit overweight, sports the youth pastor goatee and leads a mega-church. How much more evangelical can you get?
But on the other hand, he invited Obama to his church, he's an intellectual (so says one of today's top theologians), and he cares deeply about social issues.
(By the way, I'm in no way implying that evangelicals can't be intellectuals or don't care about social issues - just that they have traditionally been thought not to have.)
The thing that distinguishes him from both conservatives and liberals though is his commitment to 'reverse tithing'. The guy gives up 90% of his income! What?
Liberals, say what you like, but does Michael Moore, Angelina Jolie, or Bill Maher give as sacrificially to people in need as Warren does? The guy is more progressive than many Evangelical leaders today. And when do you need to agree with the president on the "right" way of reducing abortion in order to pray in D.C.?
Conservatives, we are seeing a new generation of Evangelicals emerge. It is one that is more politically moderate, and more socially conscious. Rick Warren embodies some of these changes. That, in addition to the fact that he's probably the most well-known evangelical (in a positive light) after Billy Graham tells me Obama made the right, if not very boring choice.