Introduced as "the man who is going to rescue us from that Republican Administration in Washington," Clinton took to the pulpit like a preacher, quoting Proverbs and St. Paul and painting a portrait of a redemptive society willing to dream of betterment. Cheers rang from the balcony and the main floor.
But true emotion ripped through the congregation when the Rev. Fred A. Lucas Jr. brought Clinton to the altar rail and placed his hand protectively atop Clinton's head.
"Bless this man," he said. "Allow him to be your armor-bearer. Forgive him for his sins and his waywardness, and forgive us all for our iniquities."
Clinton, rising, appeared to wipe away a tear.
At the other end of the scale is Brown, who is suffusing his rhetoric with more emotion daily, even if his campaign events are edging ever closer to the surreal.
Within three days this week, he held two huge rallies, first the one in Washington Square and a later session at 73rd and Broadway.
Psychically, the Brown events belonged in the theater district, where the air of unreality would have seemed more appropriate. At both, a young woman wrapped in an American flag and carrying what passed for a cigar box collected dollars for Brown, a foil star dangling over her forehead. .
The sartorial star, however, was Brown's longtime aide-de-camp Jacques Barzaghi, looking like a Zen guerrilla in black pants, black jacket, red turtleneck and his ever present black beret over his shaved head. He flashed peace signs at the attendees.
"You have to have this kind of circus in New York," said Lisa DeLisle, a potential Brown voter.
The entertainment did not exactly match the candidate, who has announced that his preferred music is the Gregorian chant. No chanters were sighted, but Brown's organizers did bring in pop singer Carly Simon and a man who played a conch shell. Another act billed himself as Atom Bomb, screaming alleged rock music into a sound system so loud it could have been heard in Brooklyn.
Into this milieu came Brown, delivering a rageful speech in which he excoriated Clinton and vowed to protect the environment, abortion rights and the economy.
Brown left, and the crowd eased away as the last of the bands slid into a John Lennon song. They could still be heard a few blocks away at the Central Park apartment house where Lennon was killed, and where homeless men were that day sleeping on subway grates for warmth. In the long and tumultuous days leading up to Tuesday's vote, full of campaign promises and vows of solidarity, no one had come by to talk to them.