Dave + Maddow notebook: Comedy peppered in conversation

The conversation between David Letterman and Rachel Maddow covered topics of humor and current events — from Penn State to drinking and Donald Trump.

When the MSNBC commentator asked President Jo Ann Gora about her drinking habits, the president paused.

"I like wine — in moderation," Gora said.

Maddow, on the other hand, didn't seem to have much of a preference.

"I enjoy basically all alcoholic beverages," Maddow said.

She started to share a favorite drink recipe but then realized that being on stage in front of college students might not have been the best venue.

Letterman had to pass on the question. The Late Nite host hasn't had a drink in more than 25 years.

"I stopped drinking in 1983, and I told my wife if she ever saw me uncork a bottle to take the kid, get in the car and never come back."

That was his style back then.

Now, as he looks at the political prospects for the next presidential election, he said the Republic Party needs a strong candidate.

"Many of these guys seem pathetic and laughable," he said.

What's more, Maddow reported that Donald Trump will moderate one of the upcoming GOP debates. She said she wonders why the rich investor has become so popular.

"His hair!" said someone from the crowd.

"His hair is actually running for office," Letterman said.

Mitt Romney, the Republican front-runner, is adding some creativity to his campaign.

"Mitt Romney has hired a Sarah Palin speech writer," she said. "You guys keep thinking I'm setting up jokes. This is news!"


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