Al Smith’s Dinner

Maureen Sherry, Mary Callahan Erdoes, and Mary Higgins Clark were among the well-dressed women on the Dais along with Hillary and Melania. Jerry Hall looked very glamorous beside K. Rupert Murdoch and Bill O’Reilly. Jeff and Liz Peek, Steve and Christine Schwarzman, Mark Gilbertson, Bob Devlin, Cy and Peggy Vance, and her brother Stephen Murray McDonnell all adorned the room.

Al Smith V got off the first good line of the evening commending Donald for his civil greeting to Hillary at the beginning of the evening. “Thank you, Donald, now do you mind getting out of the Ladies’ Room?”

Hillary praised the Cardinal for bringing together two bitter enemies onto the Dais in this fiery election season, Andrew Cuomo and Bill DeBlasio. Trump’s best line was, “The media has completely rigged the election. To give you just one example, Michelle Obama gives a speech and everyone says it was terrific. Not long after Melania gives exactly the same speech, and she gets nothing but criticism. I don’t get it!”

He went on to assert that no matter what she said, Hillary really hated Catholics, and the mean-spiritedness of this and other remarks drew groans from the crowd as did some of Hillary’s less deft sallies.

Hillary called out Michel Bloomberg and said, “It’s a shame he isn’t speaking, because it would be so interesting to hear what a billionaire has to say.” She concluded with a stilted but nonetheless occasionally stirring panegyric to Al Smith and the prejudice he had confronted as the first Catholic presidential candidate, calling on all American s to come together.

Hillary sounded somewhat presidential; Donald sounded sore.

Christopher Buckley emailed me afterwards, “For a moment or two I thought Donald was doing fine. And then…it was Aesop’s scorpion and the turtle again.”