In a rare moment of civility on Thursday night, presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump sat at the same table for the annual Al Smith Dinner and cracked jokes about each other in front of an audience of a thousand people.
For decades, the end of every presidential campaign has been marked by two candidates coming together for a charity fundraiser dinner hosted by the Al Smith Foundation. The tradition, which was inspired by the persecution governor Al Smith faced as the first Catholic presidential candidate in 1928, is a way for candidates to take lighthearted jabs at each other and ease the tension of campaigning.
On Thursday night, Clinton and Trump did just that.
Perhaps the best moment of the night came when Donald Trump made a joke about pardoning Clinton for her email use as secretary of state.
"And even tonight, with all of the heated back and forth, between my opponent and me at the debate last night, we have proven that we can actually be civil to each other," Trump said. "In fact, just before taking the dais, Hillary accidentally bumped into me and she very civilly said, 'Pardon me.' "
As Trump told the joke, it took a moment for it to click with the room. Hilariously, it appeared that Clinton was actually the first one to understand it.
Trump wasn't the only one who landed a few jokes.
"But Donald really is as healthy as a horse," Clinton said after discussing their health. "You know, the one Vladimir Putin rides around on."
The joke earned a room full of laughter and even a rarely seen Trump laugh.
It wasn't all perfect, though. Trump was booed quite loudly when his speech seemed to turn into a campaign trail talking point, as he began describing Clinton as corrupt, joked about her "hating Catholics," and even referenced a Clinton Foundation scandal involving Haiti.
Clinton, too, seemed to dance on the line. After describing how people look at the Statue of Liberty and see a symbol of immigration, she quipped that Donald "looks at the Statue of Liberty and sees a four. Maybe a five if she loses the torch and tablet, and changes her hair."
The joke got some laughter but also some boos.
Perhaps most hopeful, though, was what the candidates said to each other when the mics weren't on. According to Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who sat between the two at dinner, the two made an effort to be cordial in private as well.
"After the little prayer, Mr. Trump turned to Secretary Clinton and said, 'You know, you are one tough and talented woman.' " Dolan told Savannah Guthrie and Lester Holt on Today. "'This has been a good experience. This whole campaign, as tough as it's been.'"
"And [Hillary] said to him, 'Donald, whatever happens, we need to work together afterward,' " Dolan added.
Still, the Cardinal admitted the two were "kind of awkward together," and it wasn't all rainbows and butterflies.
"I was very moved by the obvious attempt by both Secretary Clinton and Mr. Trump to try to get along, to say nice things privately to one another," Dolan said on Today. "I was very moved by that — that was pleasant."
With just a couple weeks to go before election day, maybe there is hope America can begin healing its partisan divides.