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Friday, October 17, 2008

Obama and McCain at Last Night’s Al Smith Dinner

posted by on October 17 at 7:34 AM

“I’m sure everyone and their mother is sending you this,” says Julie in Chicago, “but you have to post the video of McCain and Obama at the Al Smith memorial dinner. They are both hilarious, and McCain actually seems like a genuine, likable person instead of an angry, bitter old man.”

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Chicago is known for its terrible taste in humor

Posted by hilarious? | October 17, 2008 7:40 AM

Obama's lame jokes make me smile. Maybe he won't approach his duty as President with the same "sense of humor" as our current one.

Posted by Parsnip | October 17, 2008 7:56 AM

Ugh, bowties. I'm not voting for either now.

Posted by Chris in Tampa | October 17, 2008 8:07 AM

McCain is actually funny. Wow.

Good job, comedy speechwriter! Now get back in your cage.

Posted by meh | October 17, 2008 8:12 AM

I think McCain probably is, at his core, a "genuine, likable person". He wouldn't have come as has as a politician if he wasn't. Unfortunately, he has done a Hillary and sold his sole trying to become President. I suspect that one day he will wake up and be profoundly sorry for many the things he has done and been party to this election. Shades of Faust.

Posted by Timothy Hicks | October 17, 2008 8:23 AM

Lucked into the whole fin de siecle thing last night on C-SPAN. I am in love with Mr. Old Money McCottontop stage left in back behind the podium - he either turned down his hearing aid during the speakers or genuinely did not give a flying fuck about what either was saying.

Posted by tomasyalba | October 17, 2008 8:33 AM

@1. Aww, come on. Lighten up a bit, will you. McCain started off slow, but the bits about the Clintons were funny. And Obama's Jesus and Superman bits were also good.

A little cheesy, yes. Written by speechwriters, of course. But, something about them having (or at least pretending to have) a sense of humor about the past 20 months, made me happy.

Posted by Julie in Chicago | October 17, 2008 9:09 AM


i knew mccain would sell out his florsheim soles sooner or later. the bastard.

Posted by SeMe | October 17, 2008 9:17 AM

i don't care if he's "likeable". fuck mccain. this is a knife fight & the future of this fucked-up nation is on the line.

this timing of this dinner demeans the seriousness of the presidency & should be discontinued.

Posted by max solomon | October 17, 2008 9:19 AM

Jokes be damned, Obama wins the Who Looks Better In A Tux contest--not that elections are decided on such shallow issues or anything.

Posted by Andy Niable | October 17, 2008 9:28 AM

Here is the funniest video I have seen today:

Practically the last debate word for word!

Posted by Atlanta | October 17, 2008 9:33 AM

Good stuff on both sides.

"I never knew your great-grandfather, but from everything Sen. McCain has told me . . ."


Posted by Levislade | October 17, 2008 9:37 AM

That was great! If McCain had acted more like that during the race, it would be closer. I thought his jokes were actually better than Obama's.

Posted by Lavode | October 17, 2008 9:48 AM

Obama's biggest laughs from the crowd were in response to his own laughter. He's so dorky and serious most of the time (good qualities in a president!) that it's charming when the facade cracks for a moment.
Compare with Bush's incessant heh-heh-heh, which sends shudders of horror down my spine.

Posted by Hypatia | October 17, 2008 9:50 AM

@4 Ditto that. What a little magic a script can do!

Posted by Ariel | October 17, 2008 10:12 AM

Also, Obama in a bow-tie. He looks so young and fresh. So student council. Rowr.

Posted by Ariel | October 17, 2008 10:13 AM

Shame his shirt didn't fit!

Posted by Fnarf | October 17, 2008 10:40 AM

Who says the Catholic church doesn't still have spunk?
Um, let me rephrase that...

Max Solomon @9: "this timing of this dinner demeans the seriousness of the presidency & should be discontinued."

I want you to read that to yourself out loud so you can actually hear what you just wrote.
You're a comic genius.

Posted by The Bailiff | October 17, 2008 10:45 AM

Wow, McCain actually showed some decency at the end there. And it kinda sounded like a concession speech at the same time.

Otherwise, funny stuff. :)

Posted by violet_dagrinder | October 17, 2008 11:25 AM

john mccain should have won the 2000 repub primaries. i hope he has a nice retirement.

Posted by jrrrl | October 17, 2008 12:06 PM

They are both elitist.

Posted by Sargon Bighorn | October 17, 2008 12:39 PM

If Senator McCain had run his entire campaign like his speech to the Al Smith dinner, he might well be the front runner now.

Posted by Bobolink | October 17, 2008 2:01 PM

"If McCain had been like this the whole campaign, he wouldn't be losing."

The identical comments were made about Al Gore in 2000, who suddenly became human and likable again to a lot of people once he gave his concession speech. You're seeing McCain outside the control of his handlers and the party -- same as when he shut down the "...he's an A-rab" lady last week.

Most of what these candidates do and say is determined by the pollsters, hacks and strategists in their party and campaign staffs.

McCain knows he's losing -- hell, he's known he was going to lose since AUGUST, maybe earlier. But he's been told that he must absolutely rile up "the GOP base," because if they think there's no chance of McCain winning, they don't show up on election day, and the Dems will win 60+ Senate seats and a bunch of new House seats. (That's why they made him take Palin as VP?)

McCain, being loyal to a fault (see also the 2000 SC primary), is going to take another one for the team and hope that pictures of Obama smoking a bong with Ayers, Manson and bin Laden come out before Nov 4.

Most pundits know all this. But they need a reason to show up for work for the next three weeks, so they'll never say it.

Posted by JA3 | October 17, 2008 6:32 PM

somebody, please photoshop some "pictures of Obama smoking a bong with Ayers, Manson and bin Laden."


Posted by Mike in MO | October 17, 2008 6:45 PM

McCain hardly blinks in this video. Is it because he's not lying, for a change?

Posted by Mr Fuzzy | October 17, 2008 9:56 PM

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