On Thursday night, the presidential candidates spoke at the quadrennial election-year ritual that is the Alfred E. Smith Dinner. Smith was a former governor of New York and the foundation that bears his name hosts the black-tie dinner, at which it is traditional for even the most stolid and humorless elected officials to loosen up and tell a few jokes at their own and their opponents’ expense.
President Barack Obama opened his remarks by asking everyone to take their seats, “otherwise Clint Eastwood will yell at them.”
“In less than three weeks,” he said, “voters in states like Ohio, Virginia and Florida will decide this incredibly important election, which begs the question, what are we doing here? Of course, New Yorkers also have a big choice to make. You have to decide which one of us you want holding up traffic for the next four years.”
The white tie and evening gown clad audience laughed heartily as Obama slammed his performance in the first presidential debate in Denver, Colorado.
“This is the third time that Governor Romney have met recently. As some of you may have noticed, I had a lot more energy in our second debate. I felt really well rested after the nice long nap I had in the first debate,” he said.
The president then went on to apologize to Democrats who may have been alarmed by his lackluster performance in Denver, particularly Chris Matthews, who unleashed an epic rant on the night of the first debate. Obama said, “Four years ago, I gave him a thrill up his leg; this time around, I gave him a stroke.”
Other topics the president tackled included the ban in New York City on large-sized sugary sodas (“Now, win or lose, this is my last political campaign so I’m trying to drink it all in. Unfortunately Mayor Bloomberg will only let me have 16 ounces.”) and vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)’s clumsy fib to radio pundit Hugh Hewitt about his marathon time (“And I have to admit, it can be a grind. Sometimes it feels like this race has dragged on forever, but Paul Ryan assured me that we’ve only been running for two hours and fifty something minutes.”).
Watch President Obama’s remarks from the Alfred E. Smith Dinner, embedded via “The Rachel Maddow Show,” below:
Michael Cohen ordered back to Congress on March 6
President Donald Trump's so-called "fixer" is being asked to return to Congress for more questioning on March 6.
Outside of the closed-door committee hearing Thursday, Cohen said that the House Intelligence Committee is seeking further information, according to Washington Examiner writer Byron York.
Michael Cohen finished closed-door testimony before House Intel Committee, says he's coming back for another session March 6. Again: No reason for secrecy. Transcripts should be released ASAP.
— Byron York (@ByronYork) February 28, 2019
Here are 10 women who wouldn’t be silenced in 2018
It's been 26 years since the so-called "Year of the Woman," when a record number of women were elected to Congress in 1992. Four senators and 24 representatives were sent to Capitol Hill, following contentious Supreme Court hearings for then-nominee Clarence Thomas, who was accused by Anita Hill of sexual harassment.
On several levels, the themes of 1992 have made repeat, and amplified, appearances this year. The #MeToo movement became fully realized with women reclaiming and reframing their stories, as President Donald Trump, himself accused many times of sexual predator behavior settled further into the White House. Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh, also accused of sexual assault, to the Supreme Court, and while Kavanaugh would go on to attain a seat on the highest court in the land, serial sexual predator and former beloved comedian Bill Cosby was sent to prison for the drugging and rape of Andrea Constand, only one of dozens of women who have spoken out against Cosby with credible accusations of assault.
US ‘model soldier’ gets 25 years in prison for Islamic State support
A U.S. Army sergeant described by former colleagues as a one-time “model soldier” was sentenced to 25 years in prison at a federal court in Hawaii on Tuesday after pleading guilty to providing material support to the Islamic State militant group, a local news outlet reported.
Ikaika Erik Kang, 35, agreed to a plea deal in August on four counts of breaking antiterrorism laws in which he accepted a proposed 25-year sentence.
Judge Susan Oki Mollway accepted the terms of the plea deal at Tuesday morning’s hearing, Hawaii’s KHON2 news channel reported. Kang told the court he knew what he did was wrong, KHON2 reported.