Sam Sanders

Sam has worked at Vermont Public Radio since October 1978 in various capacities â

It was tense even before they started. Reporters tweeted that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump entered the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner from separate sides of the room, and didn't even shake hands (which at this point really isn't a surprise).

But there was hope that Thursday night's event could serve as a comedic salve for the nation following three decidedly nasty presidential debates. The fundraising event for Catholic charities — now in its 71st year — traditionally is a time for the candidates to offer jokes about themselves and their opponent.

In front of an exuberant crowd Thursday in Delaware, Ohio, Donald Trump again addressed whether he would accept the outcome of the November election.

"Ladies and gentleman I want to make a major announcement today," Trump said, continuing, "I would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supporters, and to all of the people of the United States, that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election ..."

Kalena Bowler remembers exactly where she was during Barack Obama's first presidential inauguration: at work. "I was the only Black person in the entire pre-production room."

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In professor Jerome Hunt's American politics class last month at the University of the District of Columbia, there were many questions: Could whoever wins the election serve a second term, given Donald Trump's and Hillary Clinton's low favorability numbers? What will the Republican Party look like years from now, after the Trump phenomenon has its full effect? What will happen to the Supreme Court?