Friday, October 21, 2016
If not the Presidency then her calling is an After Dinner Speaker:, Hillary Clinton masterfully pokes fun at Trump during Al Smith Charity Dinner
Hillary Clinton poked fun at her GOP rival Donald Trump, other New York politicians and herself at the annual Al Smith dinner Thursday night.
"People look at the Statue of Liberty and they see a proud symbol of our history as a nation of immigrants,” Clinton said. “A beacon of hope for people around the world. Donald looks at the Statue of Liberty and sees a four. Maybe a five if she loses the torch and tablet and changes her hair."
She also took aim at Trump’s surrogate and top adviser, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
“Many of you don’t know this but Rudy actually got his start as a prosecutor going after wealthy New Yorkers who avoided paying taxes,” she said. “But as the saying goes, ‘If you can’t beat them, go on Fox News and call them a genius.’ “
Giuliani did not smile.
Clinton also mocked the rivalry between the Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, two Democrats who have been at odds since de Blasio took office in 2014.
“But your eminence, you do deserve great credit for bringing together two people who have been at each other’s throats, mortal enemies, bitter foes,” Clinton said. “I’ve gotta ask, how did you get the governor and mayor here tonight?”
The dinner came a day after the two candidates had their final debate Wednesday night. Trump was widely denounced for his performance, having called Clinton a “nasty woman” and refusing to say that he would accept the outcome of the election.
“There is nothing like sharing a stage with Donald Trump,” Clinton said Thursday night. “Donald wanted me drug tested before last night’s debate, and look I gotta tell you I am so flattered that Donald thought I was using some form of performance enhancer. Now I actually I did. It’s called ‘preparation.’ ”
Clinton also joked about herself, declaring that she “took a break from my rigorous nap schedule to be here," and mocking the perception that's she's not funny — "it did take a village to write these jokes," she said, a play on the title of her book.
“And as you’ve already heard,” she continued, “it’s a treat for all of you too, because usually I charge a lot for speeches like this.”
The former secretary of State’s speech was received noticeably better by the Catholic charity’s crowd than the one delivered by Trump, who was loudly and repeatedly booed when he attacked Clinton as corrupt
“Donald, after listening to your speech, I will also enjoy listening to Mike Pence deny that you ever gave it,” Clinton joked.
A few of her remarks did seem to toe the line of cordiality, and she drew some scattered jeers when she said Trump must have trouble using teleprompters "when you're translating from the original Russian."
But Clinton used the opportunity to deliver a sincere message as her remarks wrapped up, saying “there’s nothing funny about the stakes in this election.”
She praised the event’s namesake, former New York Gov. Al Smith, who in 1928 became the first Catholic to be nominated for president by a major party.
In a subtle and implicit shot at Trump, Clinton noted the fierce anti-Catholic sentiments that Smith had to face during his “groundbreaking” campaign.
“Those appeals, appeals to fear and division, can cause us to treat each other as ‘the other,’ “ she said. “Rhetoric like that makes it harder for us to see each other, to respect each other, to listen each other and certainly a lot harder to love our neighbor as our self.”