Barack Obama and John McCain both spoke at the Al Smith dinner at the Waldorf Astoria last night, an event so glamorous that even New York’s shoes-optional senator, Chuck Schumer, was dressed to the nines.
While war protesters held mock funerals for American democracy and McCain supporters waved signs like “I Heart Trig,” Schumer walked towards the ballroom, wearing a white shirt and white bow tie under black tux.
I asked him how the event, the last time the two candidates would appear publicly together, would differ from the prior night’s debate.
“This one will be much lighter and more fun,” said Schumer, suggesting that McCain had to abandon his aggressive line of attack. “It didn’t work for him yesterday. He’s got to try something else.”
In fact, the two candidates did, and got lots of laughs as they flanked the notably unfunny Cardinal Edward Egan and roasted one another in front of a crowd that included the city’s top power brokers.
Obama made fun of his own celebrity status, saying that he punched a paparazzo on his way out of Spago’s and joked that, like Superman, he was from the planet Krypton and sent to save the planet earth. McCain joked that Joe the Plumber would be working on all seven of his houses.
You can see their remarks, which includes shots at Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton, who both skipped the dinner last year when they thought they would be their party’s respective nominees, here.