The annual Al Smith dinner, put on by the Catholic Archdiocese of New York to raise money for Catholic Charities, was held on Thursday night. By tradition, the white-tie social event features political rivals making self-deprecatory jokes and giving mild roasts of each other -- what Barack Obama is so good at.
Hillary Clinton took it that way, and her speech was a big hit with the crowd (made up mostly of politicians, celebrities, and wealthy Republican donors). Trump on the other hand was actually booed and heckled over some of the low blows at Hillary that had no humor in them. He was soundly skewered by the media for it.
He did, however, start off with the best laugh of the night. It went something like this: "The media is more biased than ever before this year. You want proof? Michelle Obama gives a speech . . . and ev-ery-body loves it; it's fantastic, she's absolutely great. Then my wife Melania gives the. . exact . . same speech, and everybody gets on her case about it. I . . . don't. . . . get it."
It was a great moment of levity and humanizing. And he deserves some credit for it. He even ad libbed, "and it wasn't her fault." And he had her stand up to take a bow, which brought another round of warm applause and appreciative laughter. Exactly the right tone. Unfortunately, he went downhill from there, fast.