Friday, October 17, 2008
And a good time was had by all...
I hope you are not as shocked by this photo as I initially was. It was taken by Damon Winter of the New York Times about 24 hours after this year’s third presidential debate between Senator John McCain of Arizona and Senator Barack Obama of Illinois. Here they seem happy to see one another, unless they are just putting on a good front for Archbishop Cardinal Edward Egan of the diocese of New York. The occasion was the 63rd annual white-tie dinner of the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation in Manhattan. Al Smith had been elected governor of New York four times when the Democratic Party tapped him to be its candidate for president in 1928. He didn’t become president, however. He was defeated by the man from Iowa whom radio announcer Harry Von Zell once referred to as “the president of the United States, Hoobert Heever.” You remember Hoobert. He helped usher in the Great Depression.
But I don’t want to make you any more depressed than you already are or raise your blood pressure even a notch. Chill out, already. This white-tie dinner in Manhattan, a major fundraiser for the school system of the Catholic Diocese of New York, is a “must attend” function for politicians wooing New Yorkers for their votes. Apparently Johnny and Eddy and Barry there get on quite affably in a social setting, when the hot lights of the television cameras have been turned off and the national television audience has gone to bed. Both candidates spoke at the dinner, and both got off some real zingers. The dinner guests were practically rolling in the aisles, even Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (who must have one of the longest Wikipedia articles around, complete with 343 footnotes). I guess it’s just us chickens out here in the hinterlands who get all tense and uptight over a little thing like a presidential election.
Check it out for yourself. Here’s John McCain telling jokes (Part 1) and (Part 2), and here’s Barack Obama telling some jokes of his own (Part 1) and (Part 2). They even manage to say a few nice things about one another. I truly hope such civility catches on with their supporters.
Since Jeannelle broke her promise not to blog about politics, I feel no compunction about letting you in on what happens when the debating ends.