Donal Blaney sent me an email earlier to alert me to a video had uploaded to his blog of John McCain and Barack Obama giving hilarious after dinner speeches at the Alfred E Smith Memorial Dinner in New York City last night. McCain, in particular, was brilliantly funny. As Donal says, it's a pity he couldn't have transmitted this sort of humour earlier in the campaign.
But for those who decry the US political system, think about this. Can you seriously imagine two opposing British politicians doing this three weeks before a general election? No, nor can I. The main reason is that our media would trash them for it.
It's a shame we don't have the equivalent of the Washington Press Club dinner, where each year the President and other senior politicians go and make an extremely funny and self deprecating speech. If you want some entertainment, look a few of them up on Youtube.
It's racist not to laugh at Obama's jokes.
McCain's speech seemed natural.
Obama's laughter seemed natural.
Obama's speech seemed forced.
McCain's laughter seemed forced.
Conclude what you will.
Who had more to lose?
I think you're off on one Iain if you think that McCain performed better. The Joe the Plumber gag was ok and the Hillary gag good, but Obama had the better jokes and played them better.
1. It's spelled ARSE in England
2. McCain easily out-gunned Obama in the comedy stakes, and the last bit was pure political genius - hire me as an ingratiate advisor Mr President after you have won.
3. Obama was much more fresh and statesman-like
4. The event itself was enjoyable, but the rules should be that each candidate is left in a locked room, with no outside contact, made to write a speech without the aid of professional script-writers, and immediately deliver it. Bob Hope was brilliant - but only in terms of delivery. His script-writers came up with the gags.
Brilliant. McCain was a definite winner there.
You're right Ian, our politicians would never do anything like that, but what a shame!
They were both really funny. I enjoyed that - thanks!
Someone should tell Obama that you wear a wing collar with white tie. I hope he hasn't been getting advice on evening dress from Grim Gordon.
I'm guessing that the event is a charity fund raiser, why should it not be possible for something like this to happen at our general elections?
Yes it was for charity; organized by the Catholic Archdiocese of New York for the benefit of needy children. An estimated $4 million was raised.
Yep. They can certainly read someone else's material.
I disagree, and Radio Five Live sisteners yeasterday morning also disagree with you. They, like me, thought Obama was the funnier. McCain is obsessed with joe the fraudulent plumber.
while McCain's speech was funnier the interesting thing is the way he endorses Obama as the next President. They are both great men. It is frequently said that Bush should have lost the Republican nomination to McCain in 2000.
I was recently in a bar in Hoboken NJ and when I was confronted by a Republican supporter as to why I was so enthusiastic about Obama he said "so you're basically racist - you support Obama because he is black". My response was - I have no problem supporting Obama because he is black - he is also the best candidate for the US presidency.
If nothing else he finally turns that egregious lie at the core of the US psyche that via their Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal into a real truth.
You can't expect Jocky to turn up at any event associated with Catholics, He'd get a rash and start burbling.
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