— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 21, 2016
Well, that went well… assuming you weren’t Donald Trump. He said himself that he’s been attending these dinners ‘for years, with my father, since I was a young man’, and he still hasn’t picked up a feel for what would be acceptable? Does the man listen to anything other than the sound of his own voice?
… What began as the expected ribbing of presidential candidates at the white-tie Al Smith Dinner Thursday turned to boos as Donald Trump described Hillary Clinton as “corrupt” at the event, which is a major fundraiser for the Catholic charities connected to the Archdiocese of New York…
… Trump was quick to take some campaign trail attacks with him to the dais at the annual dinner. He called Clinton “so corrupt she got kicked off the Watergate Commission” and lobbed his usual line that Clinton has been in politics for 30 years and accomplished little. “I can fix it, she says,” he deadpanned as the crowd’s mood noticeably shifted.
As the boos rolled in Trump wondered who they were booing. “I don’t know who they’re angry at Hillary, you or I?” he said. Someone in the crowd yelled out “you!”
Trump’s next line struck a nerve. “Here she is in public, pretending not to hate Catholics,” Trump said, referencing an apparent email exposed by WikiLeaks in which a Clinton spokeswoman seemed to joke about Catholics and evangelicals…
The Democratic nominee, for her part, poked fun at herself while also taking searing jabs at her opponent. Clinton didn’t hesitate to slam Trump for his past comments on women and his ambivalence about accepting next month’s election results.
In contrast with Trump, Clinton also made a point of acknowledging both the purpose and the history of the Al Smith dinner and closed her speech with a big-picture campaign message that was tied to the positive focus of Thursday’s Catholic fundraiser…
Me, I think this was the most interesting photo from the evening:
— LilRedTweetsALot (@MeganBigMouth) October 21, 2016
Now, Timmy Cardinal Dolan is not a good man — to steal a Donald Westlake line, I’d trust him alone all night in bed with a ten-year-old, as long as the kid didn’t have more than five dollars cash on them — but he has a nose for power like a pig for truffles. If he’s willing to put aside his public histrionics over baby-murdering lesbian feminist God-denying Democrats who don’t care about suffering women to suck up to Hillary Clinton in public, that’s another leading indicator as to which party will be on the podium at the inaguration in January.
Also, mad props to whoever chose Clinton’s outfit tonight, which was very flattering, officially “Planned Parenthood deep pink”…
Hillary Clinton is not wearing a pantsuit. Breaking news. pic.twitter.com/hvITysVx4W
— Dan Mannarino (@DanMannarino) October 20, 2016
… and, at least to my raised-in-the-Church eye, unofficially more than somewhat reminiscent of a traditional bishop’s cassock.
It's one thing to lose all three debates. How do you lose a scripted dinner when the jokes are written for you? #AlSmithDinner
— Hemant Mehta (@hemantmehta) October 21, 2016
This is amazing! He's actually getting booed off stage! #AlSmithDinner ?
— Nasty Woman Laura (@SheWhoVotes) October 21, 2016
"Here's another similarity: the Republican National Committee isn't spending a dime to help either one of us." HRC at #AlSmithDinner
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) October 21, 2016
ETA: Since someone asked, in Adam’s earlier post — you don’t have to be Catholic to attend the Al Smith dinner, but you do have to have something to offer. Since it’s a fundraiser for Catholic Charities, most attendees buy as expensive a ticket as they can afford, because just getting your name on the guest list holds a certain NYC social imprimatur. Assuming Donald wasn’t lying tonight, that’s why his father might’ve taken him to earlier dinners, even though Fred was (at the very least) not happy with Catholics in politics. And since the NYC ‘Democratic machine’ has traditionally been heavily Catholic (all those Irish/Italian/Polish/Hispanic/Vietnamese immigrants), politicians of all parties have been eager for the privilege of being seen rubbing shoulders with all those ‘princes of the church’ and the high-dollar society people who help bankroll them. Being booed at tonight’s dinner wasn’t just a political disaster for the Trumps — it was a social catastrophe as well. Donald and Melania were being put on notice that they might as well retire full-time to Palm Beach with the other superannuated back numbers (not that they were exactly A-list guests at NYC social events before this).
Collateral Trump damage:
— Honey 17011 (@Honey17011) October 21, 2016
— Matt Wilstein (@TheMattWilstein) October 21, 2016
As someone who lived in New York under his regime, Giuliani's miserable grimace just gave me life. #AlSmithDinner
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) October 21, 2016