The joke’s on McCain, Obama, and both laugh together

October 17th, 2008 - 10:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew York, Oct 17 (IANS) You can’t imagine Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Opposition leader L.K. Advani doing it. But rival US presidential candidates, who are running a hard fought and often bitter campaign, sat down at a dinner table and swapped self-deprecating jokes.Republican John McCain Thursday said he had replaced his team of senior advisers with “Joe the Plumber”, referring to an actual Ohio man he invoked several times in the last presidential debate Wednesday to argue that his rival wants higher taxes on people like Joe.

Democrat Barack Obama claimed his own greatest strength would be “my humility” in reference to his image of being arrogant.

Obama said: “Contrary to the rumours you have heard, I was not born in a manger. I was actually born on Krypton and sent here by my father, Jor-El, to save the planet Earth,” in a reference to Superman.

McCain quipped that Democrats had already begun attacking Joe the Plumber.

“What they don’t know is that Joe the Plumber recently signed a very lucrative contract with a wealthy couple to handle all the work on all seven of their houses,” McCain said, alluding to a flap he caused earlier this year when he was unable to remember how many homes he and his wife Cindy own.

He also referred to one awkward moment in the second presidential debate when he disdainfully referred to Obama as “that one”.

“He doesn’t mind at all,” McCain continued, “In fact, he even has a pet name for me: George Bush.” In the last debate, McCain countered Obama comparing his rival’s economic policies with Bush and asserted, “I am not George Bush”.

Obama said his first name actually meant “that one” in Swahili.

Turning serious, Obama said, looking towards McCain: “I think it is a tribute to American democracy that with two weeks left and a hard-fought election, the two of us could come together and sit down at the same dinner table without pre-conditions.”

The occasion was the 63rd annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, a charity event organised by the Catholic Archdiocese of New York for the benefit of needy children.

The event often draws politicians as speakers and, traditionally, presidential candidates appear as lead speakers every four years. But this time, the evening of humour starring White House claimants came one night after the final, intense presidential debate.

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