John McCain and Barack Obama took a dramatic turn for the funny tonight, especially on the heels of their Wednesday debate. The two jointly appeared at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner in New York last night where they each made 15-minute speeches that were almost entirely in jest. It’s like they admitted for one night that they actually do pay attention to what’s said about them — tired and true talking points be damned. Will these sound bites be off-limits for attack ads? I sure hope so.
McCain was especially funny, cracking jokes like “I’m told that at the first sign of a recovery, [Obama] will suspend his campaign and fly immediately to Washington to address the crisis,” and “Maverick I can do but messiah is above my paygrade,” and making an awful lot of fun of Bill Clinton. McCain closed with a well-delivered bit about setting up Obama (who spoke second) to fall flat due to unreasonably high expectations of “non-stop hilarity.”
Obama joked around about McCain being old, his own wishes to perform in a stadium with a backdrop of pillars, his “palling around” with senators and other politicians, and the perils of celebrity what with juggling the paparazzi, his soy chai latte, and his shih tzu. Quotes: “If I had to name my greatest strength, I guess it would be my humility. My greatest weakness? I guess it’s that I am a little too awesome.” Also: “I got my middle name from somebody who obviously didn’t think I’d ever run for president.
To the videos!