US presidential campaign takes a break for a night

US presidential campaign takes a break for a night
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In a change of mood from the tough campaigning of the past weeks, the US presidential candidates have exchanged jokes and smiles at a fund-raising dinner in New York.

Candidates from both sides traditionally attend the annual Al Smith Memorial Foundation dinner which raises funds for Catholic charities in the area.

In a room full of Manhattan Democrats, Republican Senator John McCain saluted New York senator Hillary Clinton.

“I can’t shake that feeling that some people here are pulling for me,” said McCain. “I’m delighted to see you here tonight, Hillary.”

Among a few self-deprecating jokes and jibes at his rival, Democratic Senator Obama said the event was a resounding illustration of democracy in his country.

“I think it’s a tribute to American democracy that with two weeks left in a hard-fought election, the two of us could come and sit down at the same dinner table without preconditions,” said the Illinois Senator.

There were no smiles, however, on the face of “Joe the plumber” – the man who shot to prominence earlier this week as the working class everyman after asking Obama about his tax plans during a campaign stop.

His fame was short-lived after it emerged he isn’t a licensed plumber at all, and that his real name is Sam.

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