The Al Smith Dinner usually specializes in self-deprecating humor by the candidates, but while some of that was on display last night, both Hillary and Trump used the occasion also to try to land a few body blows.
Trump’s efforts got widely reported because the audience booed. But Hillary basically accused Trump of treason: “Now, you notice there is no teleprompter tonight, which is probably smart, because maybe you saw Donald dismantle his prompter the other day,” she said. “And I get that. They’re hard to keep up with. And I’m sure it’s harder when you’re translating from the original Russian.”
Cardinal Timothy Dolan next morning decided to focus on the positive, describing some “very touching moments” in private:
“Mr. Trump turned to Secretary Clinton and said, ‘You are one tough and talented woman. This has been a good experience, this whole campaign, as tough as it’s been.’”
Clinton then turned to her opponent and said, “‘Donald, whatever happens, we need to work together afterward,’” according to Cardinal Dolan.
But the most trenchant political observations on the relationship between Catholic culture and American culture came a few days before, when Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia addressed a Bishops Symposium at Notre Dame. The speech was published at Catholicphilly.com. Read the whole thing.
Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project and can be followed on Twitter @MaggieGallaghe.