Alternate Universe: Al Smith Dinner Roasts

Posted by Katherine | October 17, 2008 – 8:48 pm
Disconnected? Or not? [Life As Art / Flickr]

So one night McCain and Obama are arguing tensely over Joe the plumber’s tax future, and the very next they’re needling each other in high humor at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner — each laughing genuinely at the zingers launched in his direction. (McCain’s roast is here. Obama’s is here.)

Megan, a 27-year-old editor living in Brooklyn, felt it was a rather heartwarming campaign interlude. Confusing, too, though, given the 180-degree flip in demeanor:

They were actually both hilarious. It was kind of awesome. I will have to say that McCain has some pretty good comedic timing. He reminds me of my dad a little. Obama laughs at his own (or his writers) jokes — but totally pulled it off. It was a refreshing change of pace and actually eased the tension in my shoulders a bit to see all those guys in a room seriously cracking up and obviously having a good time. Hillary Clinton was in hysterics. Although it does bring up a bit of curiousness for me. I mean, in these people’s non-election year reality they pal around — they are all colleagues and totally respect each others’ intelligence. Maybe they even drink martinis together after work. […] Maybe it’s just the cynic in me, but seeing them all together laughing and making fun of each other just makes me question the sincerity of this whole running for President thing.

It does leave you wondering which version of the candidates is theater. Or whether all of it is. Or whether, most intriguingly, there’s a healthy dose of reality in both the confrontational and the convivial personas.


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