May 9th, 2009
11:29 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama teases Republicans, Clinton at annual dinner

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama drew big laughs at the annual White House correspondents dinner Saturday night, taking jabs at his administration, his Republican rivals and even himself.

"I would like to talk about what my administration plans to achieve in the next 100 days," Obama said. "During the second 100 days we will design, build and open a library dedicated to my first 100 days."

He added later, "I believe that my next 100 days will be so successful, I will be able to complete them in 72 days - and on the 73rd day I will rest."

The Democratic president poked fun at the Republican party, saying it "does not qualify for a bailout" and conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh "doesn't count as a troubled asset."

Obama touched on a few gaffes during his short time in office, from Vice President Joe Biden's verbose tendencies to an unfortunate Air Force One photo op that frightened New Yorkers - playfully pointing his finger at his young

"Sasha and Malia aren't here tonight because they're grounded," he said.

"You can't just take Air Force One on a joyride to Manhattan - I don't care whose kids you are."

As the world shakes off swine flu fears that started in Mexico, Obama noted his old rivalry with former Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, who now serves as secretary of state.

"We had been rivals during the campaign, but these days we could not be closer," the president said. "In fact, the second she got back from Mexico, she pulled me into a hug and gave me a big kiss - told me to get down there

Obama even took on former Vice President Dick Cheney, who wasn't in attendance: "He is very busy working on his memoirs, tentatively titled, "How to Shoot Friends and Interrogate People."

Obama took a somber tone, though, when specifically addressing the reporters in the room - noting the financial struggles that have afflicted the newspaper industry.

"Across the country there are extraordinary, hardworking journalists who have lost their jobs in recent days, recent weeks, recent months," he said. "I know each newspaper and media outlet is wrestling with how to respond with
these changes. ... Not every ending will be a happy one.

"It is also true that your ultimate success as an industry is essential to the success of our democracy - it's what makes this thing work."

Obama's remarks were followed by comedian Wanda Sykes, whose searing delivery spared no one - including the president and his tendency to pick up basketball games.

"They're just stroking your ego Mr. President," Sykes said.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Leah DiMarco, Texas

    The President and Ms. Sykes were BOTH great!

    May 9, 2009 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  2. Nicole

    LOL @ the Hillary Clinton joke. 🙂

    May 9, 2009 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  3. reaganfanforever

    I wonder whether his comments were amusing to the people who were terrified by the Air Force One debacle

    May 9, 2009 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  4. Dan, TX

    Funny, but a little harsh.

    May 10, 2009 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  5. CAMI in eternal moderation

    If this had been a competition, I would say the President won hands down. He was quite even-handed in poking fun at himself, his administration, his two girls and the Republicans without being mean spirited about it.

    Wanda, on the other hand, had fewer truly funny moments and I think she should have limited herself to one-liners rather than elaborate on any one jibe too long.

    May 10, 2009 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  6. Mel of Alexandria

    Very funny, Mr. President, but please keep your day job. I would hate to think that you are even tempted to join the John Boehner Posse in its comic routine.

    May 10, 2009 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  7. m smith

    I really got a laugh out of the Cheny remark. Who say's our president doesn"t have a sense of humor.

    May 10, 2009 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  8. tess

    could he have done it without a teleprompter? i don't think so because if he could he would – what happened to the smartest, most eloquent president we've ever had! in fact, all his speeches are beginning to sound alike – enflection and everything – and they are getting tiresome and boring!

    May 10, 2009 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  9. Sharon

    very good dinner ,worth watching.I hope know one gets mad at the comedy if so oh well.

    May 10, 2009 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  10. Marge

    I watched this on MSNBC...their commentators esp Pat seemed to think she went "too far"...I thought she was wonderful!!!!

    May 10, 2009 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  11. hab

    It is good to have a president who makes us feel good and also remind us the challenges we are facing as a country.

    May 10, 2009 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  12. Judy Cunningham

    It was great fun tonight. The humor was great. I think we are going to have an exciting next four years.

    May 10, 2009 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  13. David

    Do I detect a certain edge to his humor? Particularly with regard to Hillary?

    May 10, 2009 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  14. Louie

    very funny mostly I like the joke about Sean Hannity is being tortured by Keith Olbermann

    May 10, 2009 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  15. Happylady

    It sounds like our pres knows how to laugh at himself. I would love to read Wanda Sykes comments. She is always hilarious.

    May 10, 2009 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  16. Flo

    Obama was so funny........................a class act. Wanda was off the chain, I can hear Hannity and Rush on Monday hopping mad at her for digging the knife deep. I really enjoyed the entertainment. The Limbaugh joke was probably the best. "He wants the country to fail; I hope his kidney fails" HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Round 2 Rush take on Wanda on his show................Bring it on

    May 10, 2009 12:35 am at 12:35 am |

    Way better than having the last moron joking about looking for WMD's while the soldiers he used for photo ops were dying or his favorite turd blossom trying his hand at rapping.

    May 10, 2009 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  18. raymond buchanan

    waaay to go Mr. pres. you cannot imagine how much you pump us up.

    May 10, 2009 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  19. The Truth Texas Style

    This must have been a great and relaxed atmosphere for good old fashion jokes.

    May 10, 2009 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  20. Tanya Kujath

    Witty and Honest Humor. God Bless America and our President!!!

    May 10, 2009 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  21. Rhonda

    Have watched this event for a many years, have never seen anyone wish death on another. This was a huge disgrace to the news media. the hostess was drunk, the president was a bore and the entertainer was rude and awful. Shows Obama cannot even take a "soft" punch.

    May 10, 2009 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  22. Scott L

    Meanwhile an American is on trial in Iran and nobody in his administration is doing anything about it.

    This President is worthless.

    May 10, 2009 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  23. Charlize

    All I can say: Obama is the exact opposite to Dubya and the republicans in general. HONEST, STRAIGHTFORWARD, COOL, LIKABLE, FUNNY, INTELLIGENT, OPEN-MINDED, FRIENDLY, HUMBLE, DOWN TO EARTH. It is a privilege and a pleasure to have a president like him, just as it was an aberration and a disgrace to have had Dubya. No doubt those useless brainless close-minded republicans hate him so much, both envy and frustration go a long, long way!

    May 10, 2009 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  24. TKW-New Mexico

    I love our President, he is so down to earth. Just refreshing!

    May 10, 2009 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  25. P from CA

    President Obama and Wanda Sykes were so funny! I will give it to Steele who did exhibit he has a sense of humor. And the rest of the GOP... most have lost their sense of humor. No humor, no ideas...just the party of no.

    May 10, 2009 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
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