The annual White House Correspondent’s Dinner allows the President to throw some barbs at himself and the press and is a good time to observe a President’s sense of humor first hand. Known jokingly as the “nerd prom” it gets bigger and bigger every year and is starting to look like the Oscars. Sarah Palin complained about it in a tweet today, but I think she was mostly pissed that she didn’t get an invitation.
Obama’s timing keeps getting better over the years and his joke writers are doing an excellent job. He is starting to rank up there with Reagan for having a great sense of humor. (Lincoln is also up there, but we don’t have any video of his performances!)
Conan O’Brien was the guest comedian and he had some great bits, too.
Here’s the video:
And here are some of my favorite jokes from Obama:
Now, look, I get it. 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.
And yet, even after all this time, I still make rookie mistakes. 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. Who knew Eric Holder was so sensitive?
So, yes, maybe I have lost a step. But some things are beyond my control. For example, this whole controversy about Jay-Z going to Cuba — it’s unbelievable. I’ve got 99 problems and now Jay-Z is one. (To Bill O’Reilly) That’s another rap reference, Bill.
I know CNN has taken some knocks lately, but the fact is I admire their commitment to cover all sides of a story, just in case one of them happens to be accurate.
Some of my former advisors have switched over to the dark side. For example, David Axelrod now works for MSNBC, which is a nice change of pace since MSNBC used to work for David Axelrod.
The History Channel is not here. I guess they were embarrassed about the whole Obama-is-a-devil thing. Of course, that never kept Fox News from showing up. They actually thought the comparison was not fair — to Satan.
But the problem is, is that the media landscape is changing so rapidly. You can’t keep up with it. I mean, I remember when BuzzFeed was just something I did in college around 2:00 a.m.
There are other new players in the media landscape as well, like super PACs. 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 know Republicans are still sorting out what happened in 2012, but one thing they all agree on is they need to do a better job reaching out to minorities. And look, call me self-centered, but I can think of one minority they could start with. (Waves hand and smiles) Hello? Think of me as a trial run, you know?
My charm offensive has helped me learn some interesting things about what’s going on in Congress — it turns out, absolutely nothing. But the point of my charm offensive is simple: We need to make progress on some important issues. Take the sequester. Republicans fell in love with this thing, and now they can’t stop talking about how much they hate it. It’s like we’re trapped in a Taylor Swift album.
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.
I’m also hard at work on plans for the Obama Library. And some have suggested that we put it in my birthplace, but I’d rather keep it in the United States. Did anybody not see that joke coming? Show of hands. Only Gallup? Maybe Dick Morris?
And some from Conan:
The last time I hosted the White House Correspondents Dinner was in 1995. It’s amazing to think how much our country has changed in 18 years. If, in 1995, you told me that in 2013 we’d have an African-American president with the middle name Hussein who was elected to a second term in a sluggish economy, I would have said, “oh, he must have run against Mitt Romney”.
As a late night comedian, I was kind of pulling for the rich guy whose horse danced in the Olympics.
A lot of online stars are in the room but, unfortunately, Matt Drudge couldn’t make it. He had a prior commitment to teach a web design class in 1997.
Some people say print media is dying, but I don’t believe it. And neither does my blacksmith.
The print media are here for two very good reasons: food and shelter.
It’s no surprise that Speaker John Boehner isn’t here tonight. President Obama and John Boehner are kind of like a blind date between Anderson Cooper and Rachel Maddow. In theory, they understand each other’s positions but, deep down, you know nothing’s ever going to happen.
I was at our company owner’s house, getting his computer up and running, and his wife – a wonderful lady – and I got to chatting. They’re acquaintances with the Obamas; enough so that the President and his wife have been over to visit. (Fundraising and such.)
The owner’s wife made a very revealing comment to me when she said it was too bad America didn’t know the real Barack Obama; that he was really a relaxed and open individual, easy to talk with, and not at all the stiff person he often comes across as in press conferences.
Press conferences are like battle — you’re dealing with people who are not on your side, asking you tough questions, and your shields are up. It’s understandable why anyone would be less relaxed and open in that sort of situation.
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