Sunday, 28 April 2013

President Obama pokes fun at the press, rivals, self at WH Correspondents Dinner

President Obama pokes fun at the press, rivals, self at WH Correspondents Dinner, The annual White House Correspondents Dinner has become the place to be in Washington, D.C., and Saturday night's dinner was no different as Conan O'Brien, the Emmy award-winning comedian and late night talk show host, headlined this annual event.

President Barack Obama once again adressed what has been dubbed as "Hollywood East." President Obama poked fun at the press, his Republican rivals and even himself.

He started the evening by taking a jab at conservative radio talk show host, Rush Limbaugh. President Obama took to the podium to the rap song, "All I Do is Win," by DJ Khaled, he said, "How do you like my new entrance music?

Rush Limbaugh warned you about this -- second term, baby." President Obama jokingly added that "my advisors were a little worried about the new rap entrance music. They are a little more traditional.

They suggested that I should start with some jokes at my own expense, just take myself down a peg. I was like, guys, after four and a half years, how many pegs are there left?"

In a joke about aging as he enters his second term, "These days, I look in the mirror and I have to admit, I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be. Time passes. You get a little gray."

He admitted that I "still make rookie mistakes." In a recent fundraiser in California he remarked about California Attorney General Kamala Harris good looks. " Like, I’m out in California, we’re at a fundraiser, we’re having a nice time.

I happen to mention that Kamala Harris is the best-looking attorney general in the country. As you might imagine, I got trouble when I got back home."

As he looked at his wife Michelle Obama, he added jokingly, "Who knew Eric Holder was so sensitive?"

President Obama took a jab at New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd who penned a piece title "No Bully in the Pulpit," in which she said, among other things that President Obama should act more like the actor Michael Douglas in the movie, "The American President." Saying that everybody has "got plenty of advice.

Maureen Dowd said I could solve all my problems if I were just more like Michael Douglas in 'The American President.' And I know Michael is here tonight. Michael, what’s your secret, man? Could it be that you were an actor in an Aaron Sorkin liberal fantasy?"

"Might that have something to do with it?" the President said jokingly amid laughter.

He joked about the press, "The fact is I really do respect the press. I recognize that the press and I have different jobs to do. My job is to be President; your job is to keep me humble. Frankly, I think I’m doing my job better."

President Obama took a jab at the past election, Super PACS and specifically, Sheldon Adelson. "Did you know that Sheldon Adelson spent $100 million of his own money last year on negative ads? You’ve got to really dislike me -- to spend that kind of money.

I mean, that’s Oprah money. You could buy an island and call it “Nobama” for that kind of money. Sheldon would have been better off offering me $100 million to drop out of the race.

I probably wouldn’t have taken it, but I'd have thought about it. Michelle would have taken it. You think I’m joking?"

President Obama had come under criticism for not socializing with Congress, [articluarly Republicans, specifically, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell.

"Of course, even after I've done all this, some folks still don’t think I spend enough time with Congress. "Why don’t you get a drink with Mitch McConnell?" they ask. Really? Why don’t you get a drink with Mitch McConnell?"

He joked that he is not giving up on Republicans. "In fact, I'm taking my charm offensive on the road -- a Texas barbeque with Ted Cruz, a Kentucky bluegrass concert with Rand Paul, and a book-burning with Michele Bachmann."

In a reference to himself, President Obama said that "one senator who has reached across the aisle recently is Marco Rubio, but I don’t know about 2016. I mean, the guy has not even finished a single term in the Senate and he thinks he's ready to be President. Kids these days."

In closing, President Obama became serious. He discussed the past weeks and the tragedies in Boston.

"As I've gotten a chance to meet many of the first responders and the police officers and volunteers who raced to help when hardship hits, I was reminded, as I'm always reminded when I meet our men and women in uniform, whether they're in war theater, or here back home, or at Walter Reed in Bethesda -- I'm reminded that all these folks, they don’t do it to be honored, they don’t do it to be celebrated.

They do it because they love their families and they love their neighborhoods and they love their country."

President Obama closed by saying that "Those of us in public office, those of us in the press, those who produce entertainment for our kids, those with power, those with influence -- all of us, including myself, we can strive to value those things that I suspect led most of us to do the work that we do in the first place -- because we believed in something that was true, and we believed in service, and the idea that we can have a lasting, positive impact on the lives of the people around us.

And that’s our obligation. That’s a task we should gladly embrace on behalf of all of those folks who are counting on us; on behalf of this country that’s given us so much."

Send John Presta an email and your story ideas or suggestions, johnpresta@att.net.

John is the author of an award-winning book, the 2010 Winner of the USA National Best Book award for African American studies, published by The Elevator Group, Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots. Also available an eBook on Amazon.

John is also a member of the Society of Midland Authors and is a book reviewer of political books for the New York Journal of Books. John has volunteered for many political campaigns.

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