Obama and Romney Set Aside Campaign for Comedy

Friday, October 19, 2012

President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. (Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images)

Last night, President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney set aside their contentious campaign for comedy. The candidates traded jokes at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, and then President Obama made an appearance on The Daily Show. 

Pete Dominick, host of the radio show Stand Up! on Sirius XM and a contributor to CNN, explains how the candidates fared from a comedian’s perspective.

Dominick thinks Romney had the better writers, but Obama gave the better performance.

"I like it when President Obama is doing comedy," Dominick says, "and he almost gives credit to the writer by laughing at the joke. That little chuckle — he's laughing at the joke itself."

Pete Dominick thinks the best way for the candidates to win people over is by making fun of themselves. While many of Obama's jokes focused on his lack-luster performance in the first debate, Romney mocked his own wealth.

Still, Dominick says that, "Clearly Mitt Romney is more nervous in these situations than the President, who has a lot of experience with them, and seems to thrive in them." 

Guests:

Pete Dominick

Comments [3]

Bodo from Florida

Pete doesn't have a comedy show. It's a decidedly very left-of-center talk program on the political channel: POTUS. You'd think that the writer of this piece would have done some basic research prior to writing...

Oct. 19 2012 05:36 PM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

Romney's self-joke to opponent-joke ratio was something like 1:3. Obama had the reverse ratio...Most jokes were at his own expense. Some were against Romney. Obama appeared more at ease. Made Romney seem nastier. Like he would want the Al Smith dinner to be one more night for the candidates to scrimmage. No thanks. I'd rather have the entire event be apolitical rather than see it become another event on the march to Election Day.

Oct. 19 2012 03:49 PM
sabrina from Manhattan

You totally missed the key difference. This kind of event is not supposed to be an occasion for political jawboning. That's what Romney did. For the most part, Obama mocked himself. Romney used the event as a political opportunity. Maybe he was funny .... but as in the debate, he's an aggressive bully who can never stop competing. This was an occasion where they were supposed to be kinder and gentler.

I'm very disappointed in your analysis/commentary.

Oct. 19 2012 03:47 PM

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