If you haven't seen it yet, check out the video clips from last night's Albert E. Smith fundraiser for the Catholic Archidioces of New York. Both Senator McCain and Senator Obama provided terrific political comedy for the masses. While there's no need for Chris Rock to worry about job security, both candidates, in my opinion, gave solid performances and were a lot of fun to watch.
This 30-minute break in the madness of the ongoing brawl for the White House reminded me of the reasons why John McCain was always "My Favorite Republican." For the 14 minutes he had the mic, Senator McCain seemed--well, like Senator McCain again. Not the McCain of recent days who has done whatever was necessary to secure and reassure the base of his political party. But the McCain we all remember and (frankly) miss.
For 30 minutes, I caught a glimpse of the type of campaign these candidates promised to give us. It was civil. Yes, they disagreed about policy and were definitely taking jabs at one another, but no one was going for blood. They were honest about their own shortcomings, especially if the joke was at their own expense. They sat next to one another and laughed with their mouths wide open. And when the comedy was over, the words and respect they had for one another as public servants was evident and seemed to be thoughftul, genuine and from the heart (...or perhaps I was just hoodwinked).
I'm sure both candidates will retreat and hunker down in their respective corners today and we'll get back to the political back-biting and name-calling that has become routine for this campaign. But, in the midst of what often feels like global doom and gloom at every turn 24/7 (especially if you watch cable news), I really appreciated having even just a brief timeout from politics as usual.