Last night, President Obama and Mitt Romney took turns showcasing their lighter sides at the Alfred Smith Dinner. The First Lady, though, was conspicuously absent. That left several people puzzled. Ann Romney was by her husband’s side, but where was Michelle? Inquiring minds wanted to know.

The Obamas do love their empty chairs …

Michelle was already in New York City yesterday, having appeared on “Live with Kelly and Michael” in the morning. So why couldn’t she swing by the big dinner, also in New York City, to join her husband for his stand-up routine?

Maybe she just needed some time alone to think about more important things.