Home » Society

Obama Shows An Edge At The White House Correspondents Dinner

Submitted by on April 30, 2013 – 8:37 amNo Comment

The trajectory from hope to more pragmatic rhetoric in the Obama presidency has been well documented. Someday, someone may track this change through the President’s humor. Appearing at last week’s White House Correspondent’s Dinner, the sometimes stiff Commander-in-Chief cracked jokes like a seasoned vet- and none landed harder than those punchlines that carried a dose of bitter truth.

“[My advisers] suggested that I should start with some jokes at my own expense, just take myself down a peg,” the president began. “I was like, guys, after four and half years, how many pegs are there left?”

Many of Obama’s best barbs dealt with criticisms he’s received, especially about how he could be more effective.

Some folks still don’t think I spend enough time with Congress. ‘Why don’t you get a drink with Mitch McConnell?’ they ask,” Obama said. “Really? Why don’t you get a drink with Mitch McConnell?”

This line earned him the biggest laugh of the night, and it’s not even really a joke. I think the audience was responding to the president’s honest, sincere frustration at the idea that Republicans would suddenly be more cooperative if he was just a little nicer to the least fun-looking member of Congress.

Similarly, the president responded to New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd‘s suggestion that he should be more like Michael Douglas‘ character in the film The American President. Obama spoke to Douglas, who was in the audience:

Michael, what’s your secret? Could it be that you were an actor in an Aaron Sorkin liberal fantasy?”

When Obama joked that billionaire conservative donor Sheldon Adelson should have just offered him the $100 million in campaign donations to drop out of the 2012 race, the president sounded oddly resigned when he said he would have considered the offer.

Finally, President Obama had a bit of victorious vitriol reserved for those who had doubted him. After a somewhat predictable joke about conspiracies surrounding his birth, the president asked, ”Did anybody not see that joke coming… Only Gallup? Maybe Dick Morris?”

Morris, a rabid Obama opponent, prominently predicted just days before the election that the president would lose by “historic proportions,” despite ample polling evidence to the contrary.

Obama seemed to dig in a bit as he mentioned Morris, and to enjoy it.

[Image via Getty]

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS. Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

We want to keep in touch with you. If you give us your email address, you may receive marketing emails from the DJ Networks family. We hope that's cool.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.