Obama slings jokes, jabs at White House correspondents’ dinner


So how bad was last year for President Obama?

“Things got so bad,” the president said, “the 47% called Mitt Romney to apologize.”

That got a big laugh, as did other self-deprecating remarks — and stinging jabs at Republican leaders and the media — the president made during his routine at the 100th White House Correspondents’ Assn. Dinner on Saturday night.

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The president began his speech mocking the litany of roadblocks his administration hit last year, sarcastically calling it his “stellar 2013.” One recurring gimmick was the flashing of images on a screen. The president, playing straight man, would make a comment and then the image would provide the punch line.


He said that one of the good things about, the website that launched Obamacare, was that it also launched one of the year’s biggest movies. Up on the screen: A poster for “Frozen.”

The president noted that someone had thrown a shoe recently at Hillary Rodham Clinton. Up on the screen: An image of Vice President Joe Biden, holding a shoe.

At the end of his routine, Kathleen Sebelius, the former Health and Human Services secretary who oversaw the botched Obamacare website roll out, made a cameo to “fix” a glitch in a video the president was attempting to play.

But Obama eventually turned from self-deprecation to teasing 2016 contenders and criticizing news coverage.

Joel McHale, who stars on NBC’s “Community” and hosts “The Soup,” followed Obama with his own roast of the president, 2016 hopefuls and gridlock in Washington. He promised his remarks would be “amusing and over quickly, just like Chris Christie’s presidential bid.”

Prior to Obama’s remarks, Biden appeared in a video with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who stars as a fictional vice president running for a shot at the Oval Office in HBO’s “Veep.” The two are chided for eating ice cream in the White House kitchen by the first lady, known for promoting healthy eating. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and his predecessor House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also make appearances.


The president’s best jokes:

On CNN’s plane coverage: “I think they’re still searching for their tables.”

On Fox News: “Let’s face it, you’ll miss me when I’m gone. It’ll be harder to convince the American people that Hillary was born in Kenya.”

On MSNBC’s presence at the dinner: “They’re a little overwhelmed. They’ve never seen an audience this big before.”

On the House speaker, alluding to his seemingly ever-present tan: “These days, House Republicans give John Boehner a harder time than they give me, which means orange really is the new black.”

On unemployment benefits: “If you want to get paid while not working, you should have to run for Congress just like everyone else.”

McHale’s best jokes:

On Toronto Mayor Rob Ford: “It’s geniune thrill to be here in Washington, D.C., the city that started the whole crack-smoking mayor craze.”

On a third President Bush: “Jeb Bush says he’s thinking about running. Wow, another Bush might be in the White House. Is it already time for our every-10-years surprise for Iraq?”


On Obamacare: “Over 8 million people have signed up for Obamacare, which sounds impressive, until you realize that Ashley Tisdale has 12 million Twitter followers.”

On Canadian expat celebrities: “Between Rob Ford, Justin Bieber and Ted Cruz, you just want to tell Canada, ‘Hey, relax. We already have a Florida.’”

Twitter: @danielrothberg