Annual Al Smith Dinner messed up by Clinton and Trump

The annual Al Smith Dinner – a charitable event – has been messed up this year by Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump.

For the past 70 years the Al Smith Dinner has raised money for children in honor of the honorable Catholic politician Al Smith.

Smith was elected the Governor of New York four times and was the Democratic U.S. presidential candidate in 1928.

Smith’s unlikely climb to the White House was crushed by a combination of bad timing (Herbert Hoover, the Republican, rode a wave of seeming prosperity to victory) and the simple fact that America was unready to choose a Catholic.

The 1928 campaign was marked by poisonous anti-Catholicism across much of the country, as Smith was battered by contempt for Catholics and charges of being in the thrall of the popes.

Virtually every moment of the 2016 presidential election has been turned into a bitter and depressing political struggle.

Some hoped that the long history of the Al Smith Dinners might induce both candidates to avoid the kind of scorched earth politics they have embraced now for the whole campaign.

That aspiration was largely dashed by both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in their speeches on Thursday night. Read more

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