Sunday, May 10, 2009

President Obama at the White House Correspondents Dinner Part 1 & 2

Last night at the annual black-tie White House Correspondents Dinner attended by an array of politicians, celebrities and journalists, the President poke fun at himself and his own administration, as well as, his critics and a number of Republicans.

Ridiculing his administration’s efforts to pick members of his cabinet, he joked, "No president in history has ever named three commerce secretaries this quickly."

Playing off the threat of the spread of the swine flu virus that began in Mexico, he assured the audience that though he and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had been political rivals, "these days, we could not be closer . . . In fact the second she got back from Mexico, she pulled me into a hug."

He also mocked both his frequent use of a teleprompter and Vice President Joe Biden's tendency to speak off the cuff.

Though, they may have wished otherwise, the Republican Party did not escape the President’s humor. He told the gathering that former Vice President Dick Cheney could not make the dinner because he was writing his memoir, "How to shoot friends and interrogate people."

Addressing directly Republican National Committee Chairman, Michael Steele, who was in the audience, he said, "Michael for the last time, the Republican Party does not qualify for a bailout. Rush Limbaugh does not count as a troubled asset . . ."

Turning serious, he praised journalists for holding government officials accountable and asserted, "A government without newspapers, a government without a tough and vibrant media of all sorts is not an option for the United States of America.”

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