Friday, October 19, 2012

Comedian in Chief: Barack Obama and Mitt Romney at the Al Smith Dinner

I really enjoyed this year's video of the Al Smith Dinner fundraiser.  Politics doesn't usually give me the warm fuzzies, but moments like this it does.  You can watch the entire video above.  From C-Span:

President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney gave keynote speeches at the 67th Annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. The charity fundraiser is a traditional light-hearted joint appearance for presidential candidates where they joked about themselves, their opponents, and the 2012 campaign.  

Founded in 1946 by Francis Cardinal Spellman, the Foundation honors the memory of Alfred E. Smith who died in in 1944. Al Smith was a four-time governor of the state of New York and former presidential candidate.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

“People seem to be very curious as to how we prepare for the debates.  Let me tell you what I do.  First, refrain from alcohol for sixty-five years before the debate.  Second, find the biggest available straw man and then just mercilessly attack it.  Big Bird didn’t even see it coming.  And by the way, in the spirit of Sesame Street, the President’s remarks tonight are brought to you by the letter O and the number sixteen trillion.”  -- Governor Mitt Romney 

“It would be easy to let a healthy competition give way to the personal and the petty, but fortunately we don’t carry the burden of disliking one another.  Our president has had some very fine and gracious moments.  Don’t tell anyone I said so, but our forty-fourth president has many gifts and a beautiful family that would make any man proud.  You can oppose, in our country you can oppose someone in politics and make a confident case against their policies without any ill will.  And that’s how it is for me.  There’s more to life than politics.  At the Al Smith Foundation and the Archdiocese of New York you show this in the works you do in causes that run deeper than allegiance to party or any contest of the moment.  No matter which way the political winds are blowing, what work goes on day in and day out by this organization, and you, you answer with calm and willing hearts and service to the poor and care for the sick, in defense in the rights of conscious, and in solidarity of the innocent child waiting to be born you strive to bring God’s love into every life.  I don’t presume to have all your support and on a night like this I’m certainly not going to ask for it, but you can be certain that in the great causes of compassion that you come together to embrace that I stand proudly with you as an ally and friend.”   -- Governor Mitt Romney 

"It says something about who we are as a people that in the middle of a contentious election season opposing candidates can share the same stage.  People from both parties can come together, come together to support a worthy cause.  And I particularly want to thank Governor Romney for joining me because I admire him very much as a family man and a loving father and those are two titles that will always matter more than any political ones." -- President Barack Obama