The traditional Al Smith Dinner was held at the posh Waldorf Astoria in NYC last night to raise money for Catholic charities. Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney sat with Cardinal Dolan, delivered their best punch lines, and today of course the question is: Who won the Al Smith Dinner?
Based on my careful measurements, Mitt Romney's best joke was this one:
"In the spirit of Sesame Street, the president's remarks tonight are brought to you by the letter O and the number 16 trillion."
With an audience reaction lasting 14.1 seconds.
Obama's best punch line:
"Monday's debate is a little bit different because the topic is foreign policy. Spoiler alert, we got bin Laden."
But his reaction topped out at only 11.9 seconds.
So touchdown Romney; although, extra credit to Obama for getting a laugh on a line which actually wasn't even a joke.
In fact, that's the amazing thing -- most of the jokes were just their talking points.
"As president Obama surveys the Waldorf banquet room, you have to wonder what he's thinking, so little time, so much to redistribute," said Romney.
And the fact that they stand in front of all those priests using their talking points to get laughs:
"I went shopping in some stores in midtown. I understand Governor Romney went shopping for some stores in midtown," said Obama.
That they use their talking points to get laughs shows you they know just how ridiculous their caricatures of each other are. It was a kind of confession.