Posted by: CJ | May 11, 2009

Funny Obama

I’ve trying to take a few week moratorium on reading so many blogs. I dislike just reporting the good things other bloggers have to say, and I want to get Nixonland read. (It is, by the way, amazing. Rick Perlstein, the author, has a good sense of how race and class issues intertwine without conflating them. It’s a wonderful break from how awful political rhetoric and, often, policies are on those matters.)

But then I found out (through non-bloggy outlets) that Obama gave remarks at the White House Correspondent’s Association Dinner. There are some jokes in it I didn’t like so much, but there are also some amazing ones. Here’s the full transcript, and here are my favorites:

[…]

Now, speaking — when I think about children obviously I think about Michelle and it reminds me that tomorrow is Mother’s Day. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers in the audience. (Applause.) I do have to say, though, that this is a tough holiday for Rahm Emanuel because he’s not used to saying the word “day” after “mother.” (Laughter.) That’s true. (Laughter.)

David Axelrod is here. You know, David and I have been together for a long time. I can still remember — I got to sort of — I tear up a little bit when I think back to that day that I called Ax so many years ago and said, you and I can do wonderful things together. And he said to me the same thing that partners all across America are saying to one another right now: Let’s go to Iowa and make it official. (Laughter and applause.)

[…]

In the last hundred days, we’ve also grown the Democratic Party by infusing it with new energy and bringing in fresh, young faces like Arlen Specter . (Laughter.) Now, Joe Biden rightly deserves a lot of credit for convincing Arlen to make the switch, but Secretary Clinton actually had a lot to do with it too. One day she just pulled him aside and she said, Arlen, you know what I always say — “if you can’t beat them, join them.” (Laughter.)

Which brings me to another thing that’s changed in this new, warmer, fuzzier White House, and that’s my relationship with Hillary. You know, we had been rivals during the campaign, but these days we could not be closer. In fact, the second she got back from Mexico she pulled into a hug and gave me a big kiss. (Laughter.) Told me I’d better get down there myself. (Laughter.) Which I really appreciated. I mean, it was — it was nice. (Laughter.)

[…]

All this change hasn’t been easy. Change never is. So I’ve cut the tension by bringing a new friend to the White House. He’s warm, he’s cuddly, loyal, enthusiastic. You just have to keep him on a tight leash. Every once in a while he goes charging off in the wrong direction and gets himself into trouble. But enough about Joe Biden. (Laughter.)

All in all, we’re proud of the change we’ve brought to Washington in these first hundred days but we’ve got a lot of work left to do, as all of you know. So I’d like to talk a little bit about what my administration plans to achieve in the next hundred days.

During the second hundred days, we will design, build and open a library dedicated to my first hundred days. (Laughter.) It’s going to be big, folks. (Laughter.) In the next hundred days, I will learn to go off the prompter and Joe Biden will learn to stay on the prompter. (Laughter.)

In the next hundred days, our bipartisan outreach will be so successful that even John Boehner will consider becoming a Democrat. After all, we have a lot in common. He is a person of color. (Laughter.) Although not a color that appears in the natural world. (Laughter.) What’s up, John? (Laughter.)

In the next hundred days, I will meet with a leader who rules over millions with an iron fist, who owns the airwaves and uses his power to crush all who would challenge his authority at the ballot box. It’s good to see you, Mayor Bloomberg. (Laughter.)

In the next hundred days, we will housetrain our dog, Bo, because the last thing Tim Geithner needs is someone else treating him like a fire hydrant. (Laughter.) In the next hundred days, I will strongly consider losing my cool. (Laughter.)

Obama finished off with some remarks at the end expressing sympathy for the hard times newspapers had fallen on, but also strong words of support about the necessity of good news reporting in our democracy.

I haven’t watched the video, but the remarks themselves were very enjoyable. He has good writers. If only he could add Aaron Sorkin to the list.

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Responses

  1. I had missed these. Fun!


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