The Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner is the annual event at the Archdiocese of New York where Presidential candidates take time out of their campaigns to make funny, self deprecating speeches during election years.
Donald Trump however, took the opportunity to launch more vitriolic attacks on his opponent Hillary Clinton, misjudging the event as badly as you'd expect from a man who thinks bragging about sexual assault is "locker room banter". While it started well enough, Trump's speech became so bad and so nasty that the audience booed him -- apparently a first in the dinner's history.
"We've learned so much from WikiLeaks," said Trump. "For example, Hillary believes that it is vital to deceive the people by having one public policy and a totally different policy in private."
After the audience booed, Trump went back in for more.
"That's OK, I don't know who they're angry at, Hillary, you or I. For example, here she is tonight, in public, pretending not to hate Catholics."
Clinton's speech on the other hand, was good. It was well delivered, humorous, and self deprecating. She jabbed at Trump, but well within the confines of the tone of the event.
“I have now stood next to Donald Trump for longer than any of his campaign managers,” quipped Clinton at one point during the light hearted roast, eliciting much laughter from the audience.
Later, Clinton poked at Trump's unwillingness to accept the outcome of the presidential election “Donald will tell us after the benediction whether he accepts this dinner is over," she said. "He has to wait and see.”
Clearly, Clinton and her team had prepped well for the event and crafted a funny speech that hit the mark far often than not. Clinton's speech was nowhere near as funny as Obama's was in 2012, but it worked and her campaign won't be going into damage control as Trump's undoubtedly is (again).
Obviously neither Clinton or Trump wrote their speeches for the dinner, but the difference between the two was stark -- and for good reason. While Hillary Clinton has some of the smartest people in America working for her, Trump has a team of halfwits trying to manage him, most of whom seem to quit after a few weeks. No one with a modicum of self respect or intelligence would be caught dead working for the Trump presidential campaign over the past few months, so what we saw last night was the collective efforts of the least talented political campaign team in US history. The fact that they even let him go to the memorial dinner is an indictment of just how tone deaf they are. Donald Trump's comedy is evidently as bad as his political campaigning, and he would have been better off staying at home given how badly he's been thrashed by Clinton whenever they are in the same room, and last night was no different.