Traditional Pre-Election Dinner Turns Ugly As NYC Elites Boo Trump For Clinton Jabs
The bitterness shared between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton appears intense enough even to crack the smiling facades of New York City's white tie elite.
At the normally lighthearted Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner — an occasion for good-natured ribbing that precedes every presidential election — Manhattan's wealthy elite broke with tradition as boos were heard in the Waldorf Astoria hotel Thursday evening.
Their disdain appeared to be focused on the Republican nominee, who any other year would be tuxedo-clad among them, but the unusually spiteful 2016 event saw both candidates spitting venom.
"We've learned so much from WikiLeaks. For example, Hillary believes that it is vital to deceive the people by having one public policy and a totally different policy in private," was the Trump joke that drew boos.
"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," Trump said through the jeers from the audience at the Catholic charity fundraiser.
Hillary Clinton also appeared to depart from the norm. Instead of making mostly self-effacing jokes as Barack Obama, Mitt Romney and George Bush have done before her, Clinton picked at still raw wounds.
"People look at the Statue of Liberty and they see a proud symbol of our history as a nation of immigrants. A beacon of hope for people around the world. Donald sees the Statue of Liberty and sees a four. Maybe a five if she loses the torch and tablet and changes her hair," was one Clinton zinger.
For this year's Al Smith Dinner to be out of the ordinary should come as a surprise to no one who has followed the 2016 campaign season.
The function came just a day after the third and final presidential debate, one that managed to have even more mudslinging and bitterness than the first two.
And, with only 18 days to go and Trump maintaining that he may not accept the election results, the acrimony doesn't appear to be letting up anytime before November 8.