Want to know what's popping in campaign news? Meet our column "Trail Mix" -- your guide to the fun, the quirky, and, oh yeah, the news from the 2012 campaign.
Candidates can be funny: Part 1
If you can imagine it, President Obama and Mitt Romney shared a stage Thursday night and managed to NOT attack each other, but of course it was a charity event hosted by the Catholic Church so one would hope they’d be on their best behavior.
In an election-year tradition, both candidates appeared at the Alfred E. Smith Dinner in New York and delivered a round of jokes. Here are some highlights:
“People seemed to be very curious as to how we prepare for the debates. Let me tell you what I do. First, refrain from alcohol for 65 years before the debate…"
“As President Obama surveys the Waldorf banquet room with everyone in white tie and finery, you have to wonder what he is thinking: ‘So little time, so much to redistribute...’”
“Tonight is not about disagreements that we may have. It's about what we have in common … beginning with our unusual names. Mitt is his middle name. I wish I could use my middle name.”
“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.”
Candidates can be funny: Part 2
Voters got a double-dose of Obama comedy last night. Before appearing at the Smith Dinner, the president taped an appearance on "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart where Stewart needled him about his performance in the first debate.
The majority of the interview was actually quite serious, with Stewart asking Obama about the Libya attack, how he’ll deal with Congress if he gets re-elected and how he plans to balance “our values and ideals” with the need for national security.
Friday morning Obama took heat from conservatives for calling the deaths at the Libya consulate “not optimal.” But in context, the president was repeating the phrasing of Stewart who had asked him: “I would say even you would admit that it was not the optimal response at least to the American people as far as all of us being on the same page.”
You think your schedule is packed?
Try being a presidential candidate! CNN’s Peter Hamby has obtained a usually confidential minute-by-minute schedule of what Romney’s day was like on what would be a pretty usual day -- October 10 -- and it was one full day.
The schedule lays out everything from the exact distance and drive time between events, to which staffers are riding in which campaign vehicle. Each event’s “scenario” is also described (e.g. “WMR [William Mitt Romney] and Governor Chris Christie will mix and mingle with employees.”).
There are no approximate times here -- every event is timed down to a 5-minute increment (e.g. “3:15 p.m. – 3:20 p.m.: Depart Bun’s Restaurant and Bakery and drive to USA Shop n’ Go”).
And food? The schedule calls for Romney to eat lunch while being driven between events and shows and he'll have dinner twice -- once for exactly 35 minutes at “The Welcome Barn” at the Shelby County Fairgrounds and again on the way to his hotel (a Courtyard, by the way).
Chicago Tribune: Atheists give Romney an 'F,' Obama a 'C'