Friday, October 21, 2016

Candidates square off for laughs - temporarily

Last night I watched the remarks by both candidates delivered at the annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in New York. Rachel Maddow carried the live broadcast, and the Daily Star this morning featured an AP report on it.

The annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, a white-tie gala in New York that is often the last time the two presidential nominees share a stage before Election Day, is traditionally a time when campaign hostilities are set aside.

The candidates were seated front and center, separated by one person, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who 'later called his seat "the iciest place on the planet." '

Both candidates told some pretty funny jokes. I must admit that my fave was this one from Trump.

Most eyes were on Trump, who infamously glowered through Obama's jokes at his expense during the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner and is not known for being self-deprecating.

Some of his jokes landed well, drawing laughs from both the crowd and Clinton.

His biggest laughs came as he talked about Michelle Obama getting rave reviews for a recent speech. "They think she's absolutely great. My wife Melania gives the exact same speech, and people get on her case," he said to whoops and laughs.

No one should have been surprised when Trump, defying years of tradition, moved to an attack on Clinton.

"Hillary is so corrupt she got kicked off the Watergate Commission. How corrupt do you have to be to get kicked off the Watergate Commission? Pretty corrupt," he said to loud boos and at least one call demanding he get off the stage.

He then almost appeared to segue into the standard attack lines of his rally speeches, setting aside jokes to bring up material contained in hacked Clinton campaign emails.

"Hillary believes that it's vital to deceive the people by having one public policy and a totally different policy in private," he said to growing jeers. "Here she is tonight, in public, pretending not to hate Catholics."

To be fair, Hillary took her own shots at Trump.

... she also got in some digs at Trump, a few of which drew scattered jeers. Clinton said she understood why Trump was leery of teleprompters because they can be difficult to follow and "I'm sure it's even harder when you're translating from the original Russian."

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