…is lost, apparently, on Mitt Romney.
The Al Smith Dinner is an annual staple, but the quadrennial version, when both Presidential candidates show up and make fun of themselves, and (lightly) of their opponents, is usually a time you can laugh with the other guy, too.
Is it just me, or was Mitt Romney a bit too cutting for the event?
He went after “you didn’t build that,” the deficit, and whined about the press. There were only one or two moments when the deprecation was turned inward.
Obama, on the other hand, took a few mild shots at Romney (but framed them more gently), but spent more time ragging on himself. See for yourself here:
Now, this is a footnote to the presidential race, but there’s something disturbing to me about Romney’s inability to poke fun at himself. It comes, I think, from the same place that causes Romney to chafe at being challenged by a debate moderator, or, heaven forbid, the President of the United States
Compare, for example, John McCain’s speech from 2008.
So if you’re looking for an entirely ancillary reason to vote for Obama over Mitt Romney, imagine four years of White House Correspondents’ Dinners with Mitt Romney at the dais.