President Obama, Comedian-in-Chief at Gridiron Club Dinner
(WASHINGTON) — President Obama showed off his comedy chops when he spoke to an elite group of journalists Saturday night at the Gridiron Club Dinner.
The Gridiron Club is one of Washington’s most exclusive organizations for journalists, and the annual dinner features musical skits poking fun at Republican and Democratic lawmakers. This was the second time Obama has spoke at the dinner, and his speech made fun of Republicans, Democrats, himself, and, naturally, the press.
Obama made reference to several recent controversies, including journalist Bob Woodward’s recent spat with White House Economic adviser Gene Sperling.
“I know that some folks think we responded to Woodward too aggressively, but hey, can anybody tell me when an administration has ever regretted picking a fight with Bob Woodward? What’s the worst that could happen?” Obama joked.
In his speech before the assembled press, the president addressed the grievances raised by the press corps about the administration’s lack of access and transparency.
“Some of you have said that I’m ignoring the Washington press corps, that we’re too controlling. You know what, you’re right. I was wrong. I want to apologize — in a video you can watch exclusively at Whitehouse.gov,” Obama said.
Obama made reference to the sequester, telling the crowd that “my joke writers have been placed on furlough.” He continued, “There is one thing in Washington that didn’t get cut: the length of this dinner. Yet more proof that the sequester makes no sense.”
“Of course, as I begin my second term, our country is still facing enormous challenges,” the president said, as he took a long sip of water. “That, Marco Rubio, is how you take a sip of water.”
Obama made some jokes at the expense of his own party too.
Obama also referenced rumors that Joe Biden will run for president in 2016. “It’s no secret that my vice president is still ambitious,” he said. “But let’s face it, his age is an issue,” “Just the other day I had to take Joe aside and say, ‘Joe you are way too young to be the pope,’” he said.
“Let’s face it Hillary [Clinton] is a tough act to follow. … Frankly, though, I think it’s time for him to stop showing up at work in pant suits. It’s a disturbing image. I don’t know where he buys them. He’s a tall guy,” Obama said of John Kerry.
The president was not joking, however, when he took the time to show his appreciation for the journalists that cover him.
“In an age when all it takes to attract attention is a Twitter handle and some followers, it’s easier than ever to get it wrong. But it’s more important than ever to get it right. And I’m grateful for all the journalists who do one of the toughest jobs there is with integrity and insight and dedication and a sense of purpose that goes beyond a business model or a news cycle,” he said.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio