Presidential candidates, funny moments

  • Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, apparently often tells audiences that before arriving, he asked his wife, “Ann, did you ever in your wildest dreams think that I’d be here in [fill in town] speaking to [fill in group]?” Her response: “Mitt, you weren’t in my wildest dreams.”

  • John McCain also likes to trot out a warhouse of a joke. He says Congress is spending money like a drunken sailor, then adds, “I received an e-mail recently from a guy who said, as a former drunken sailor, I resent being compared to members of Congress.” USA Today says it still gets laughs.

  • Hillary Clinton cracked a corker of a joke in January, but unintentionally. She rephrased a question as “what in my background equips me to deal with evil and bad men?” Her listeners in Davenport, Iowa, laughed for 30 seconds; many assumed it was an allusion to her unfaithful husband. But the senator later said to the press corps: “You guys keep telling me lighten up, be funny. So I get a little funny, and now I’m being psychoanalyzed.”

  • Mitt Romney handled the issue of his Mormonism by throwing out this joke at a St. Patrick’s Day breakfast in 2005, when he was governor: “I believe marriage should be between a man and a woman … and a woman …and a woman.” USA Today’s appointed joke expert, John Schacter, a humor writer for politicians in both parties, likes this joke. However, Mr. Romney hasn’t been heard to make it again.