“Everybody looks wonderful,” Obama said at Saturday’s Gridiron Club dinner. “It’s like Downton Abbey — except less funny. ”
During his 12-minute routine at the Gridiron — one of a string of spring dinners at which presidents and other politicians are expected to tell jokes — Obama made fun of opponents, allies, and himself.
Referring to this year’s Gridiron Club president — Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune — Obama joked that, “before he took office, he felt comfortable asking me for tips on a being a successful black president — and I told him, you want to keep your birth certificate handy.”
The Gridiron Club is a group of Washington journalists who put on an annual dinner featuring skits, music, speakers from each party, and occasionally the president himself. This year’s Republican speaker: Presidential aspirant Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin and a prime target of the president.
“Governor Walker got some heat for staying silent when Rudy Giuliani said I don’t love America — which I also think is a problem,” Obama said. “Think about it, Scott — if I did not love America, I wouldn’t have moved here from Kenya.”
During his stand-up, Walker said: “I want to get this out of the way once and for all — I believe President Obama loves America and every single American in it. Except for Rudy Giuliani.”
Obama’s next comedy routine is expected to be at White House Correspondents Association dinner on April 25.
Saturday’s set featured a series of funny lines about current topics, including:
Marijuana legalization. “This is my third appearance at this dinner as President, and I predict you will laugh harder than ever — I’m not saying I’m any funnier; I’m saying weed is now legal in D.C.”
Executive orders. “You start getting crankier as you get older. Next week, I’m signing an executive order to get off my lawn.”
Polls. “It is amazing, though, how time flies. Just a few years ago, I could never imagine ever being in my fifties. And when it comes to my approval ratings, I still can’t.”
Hillary Clinton’s e-mail flap. “Think about how things have changed since 2008. Back then, I was the young, tech-savvy candidate of the future. Now I’m yesterday’s news and Hillary has got a server in her house … I didn’t even know you could have one of those in your house … Did you know that? I would have gotten one.”
Joe Biden. “My vice president isn’t here tonight. He told me, ‘If I want to hear people talking for five hours straight, I’ll just stay home alone’ … And, by the way, this is just a quick aside — Joe rubs my shoulders too. ”
Walker and possible 2016 GOP candidate Rick Perry (who was in the crowd). “I also want to congratulate Scott Walker. He did a great job tonight. Give it up for him … Governor Perry, don’t you think he did a great job tonight? I noticed you weren’t clapping that much.”
A beaming Obama added: “This lame duck stuff is fun.”
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