Well this is going to be awkward. Per presidential election tradition, the two nominees are expected to appear together at the Al Smith dinner in New York City Thursday night. This event, which benefits Catholic charities, is always advertised as a lighthearted opportunity for the candidates to poke fun at themselves and at each other before Election Day. We got exactly that in 2012, when President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney smiled and shared some good natured jokes. They were even complimented for their spot-on comedic timing.
However, this election cycle, the timing could not be worse. The Al Smith dinner is taking place the day after Trump's and Clinton's third and final debate showdown. Considering we did not even get a handshake from them the last time they met on stage, how can we expect them to be cordial for a whole night?
To add to the uncomfortable setting, Cardinal Timothy Dolan recently criticized the Hillary Clinton campaign for WikiLeaks emails that showed her staff mocking Catholics. Dolan, the president of the Board of Directors of the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation, encouraged Clinton to distance herself from the insulting comments ASAP.
With that context, this is shaping up to be one awkward, dysfunctional family dinner.