Friday, October 17, 2008
Winds of change clear the air in NY
Obama, McCain share laughs at dinner
Barack Obama reveals that his middle name actually is 'Steve.'
Posted October 17, 2008 7:52 AM
NEW YORK -- Barack Obama and John McCain appeared together last night at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner. The entertaining pool report here comes from the New York Times' Jeff Zeleny:
Sen. Barack Obama was preceded - actually, introduced - at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner by Sen. John McCain, who took the first turn at the lectern. He delivered many lines that left Mr. Obama laughing out loud.
"I can't shake that feeling that some people here are pulling for me," Mr. McCain said, turning to the far side of the stage. "I'm delighted to see you here tonight, Hillary."
Mr. McCain assured those in the ballroom that his rival was not fazed by being called, "That one," during the second presidential debate.
"He doesn't mind at all, in fact, he even has a pet name for me: George Bush," Mr. McCain said.
Mr. McCain offered several words of praise, which Mr. Obama acknowledged with applause and a nod of the head.
"My opponent is an impressive fellow in many ways. Political opponents can have a little trouble seeing the best in each other. I have seen this man at his best. I admire his great skill, energy and determination," Mr. McCain said. "It's not for nothing that he has inspired so many folks in his own party and beyond. Senator Obama talks about making history and he's made quite a bit of it already.
"There was a time when the mere invitation of an African American citizen to dine at the White House was taken as an outrage and an insult in many quarters. Today, it's world away from the cruel and frightful bigotry of that time. And good riddance.
"I can't wish my opponent luck, but I do wish him well."
After a handshake, Mr. Obama took the lectern for his turn.
"I was originally told the venue would be Yankee Stadium. Can somebody tell me what happened to the Greek columns that I requested?" Mr. Obama said.
Later, he added: "I do love the Waldorf Astoria. I hear from the doorstep you can see all the way to the Russian Tea Room."
(Yes, Mr. McCain laughed. A lot.)
Mr. Obama, noting his age, said he did not have the pleasure of knowing Al Smith, but added: "From everything Senator McCain has told me, he was a great man."
Then, he gave a shout out to Mayor Bloomberg.
"The mayor recently announced some news that he would be rewriting the rules and have a third term, which prompted Bill Clinton to say: You can do that?" Mr. Obama said.
As Mrs. Clinton laughed on stage, Mr. Obama added: "I'm glad to see you made it Hillary. I hear Chuck Schumer tried to tell you that we really did move this event to Yankee Stadium."
Mr. Obama continued with Mrs. Clinton, saying: "She's the primary reason I have all this gray in my hair now."