McCain and Obama Speak at the Al Smith Dinner 2008
The 63rd Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner is a white-tie gala hosted by the Archdiocese of New York, Cardinal Edward Egan to raise money for underprivileged children. It’s a famous political roast named for the famed 1940 New York governor. It is a requisite stop for most politicians since the end of WW II.
Both presidential candidates took turn roasting each other and made self-deprecatory jokes.
Some of Senator McCain’s lines were, “In a room full of Manhattan’s proud Democrats, I have a feeling some are pulling for me. It’s nice to see you, Hillary.”
“Events are moving fast, I’ve dismissed the entire senior staff and now, all of their positions will be handled by one man, Joe The Plumber.”
"We know the press is really an independent-minded, civic-minded, non-partisan group, like ACORN."
Some of Senator Obama’s funny lines were:
“There’s no other crowd in America that I’d like palling around like those in this room tonight.”
“Can someone tell me what happened to the Greek column that I requested?”
“On the Waldorf Astoria: they tell me you can see all the way to the Russian Tea Room.”
“I got my name, Barack from my father … it’s actually means, “that one” in Swahili, and my middle name was given by someone who didn’t think I’d run for president.” “My middle name is Steve, yes, that’s right it’s Barack Steve Obama.”
“It’s nice that the two top contenders in a presidential campaign to sit down for dinner without preconditions.”
Many of the dignitaries in attendant were Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton, Charles Schumer, Governor David Patterson, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Dr. Henry Kissinger, Katie Couric, and Brian Williams, to name a few. Senator Clinton was seen laughing uproariously throughout the evening.