President Barack Obama attended the annual White House Correspondent's Association Gala at the Washington Hilton hotel May 3, 2014 in Washington, D.C. The dinner is an annual event attended by journalists, politicians and celebrities. For Obama, this is the sixth attendance for him as president. Obama's normally self-deprecating was not present last evening, instead opted to go after some members of the Washington, D.C., cast who've complicated his five-and-a-half-year tenure in the Oval Office, according to CBS News.
This is part two (see part one) of President Obama playing America's comedian-in-chief Saturday night, and was supported by a real life comedian, Joel McHale. Obama and McHale were given high marks for comedy, most of it "poignant." Joel McHale, who stars on NBC's "Community" and hosts the E!'s "The Soup," followed Obama with his own roast. McHale promised his remarks would be "amusing and over quickly, just like Chris Christie's presidential bid," and he succeeded, according.
Obama took jabs at journalists, lawmakers, celebrities and -- most pointedly -- his own administration's botched rollout of HealthCare.gov. Obama made his annual obligatory "born in Kenya joke."
"While we’re talking sports, just last month, a wonderful story -- an American won the Boston Marathon for first time in 30 years. Which was inspiring and only fair, since a Kenyan has been president for the last six," said Obama. Jokingly adding, "Had to even things out."
Obama ten took a poke at a possible GOP 2016 presidential nominee, Sen. Ran Paul of Kentucky.
"We have some other athletes here tonight, including Olympic snowboarding gold medalist Jamie Anderson is here. We’re proud of her. Incredibly talented young lady. Michelle and I watched the Olympics -- we cannot believe what these folks do -- death-defying feats," said Obama "Haven’t seen somebody pull a “180” that fast since Rand Paul disinvited that Nevada rancher from this dinner."
Obama weighed in on the Cliven Bundy cattle controversy, taking a shot at Bundy's "racism."
"As a general rule, things don’t like end well if the sentence starts, 'Let me tell you something I know about the negro.' You don’t really need to hear the rest of it," advised an amused Obama.
Obama ten started in on the Koch Brothers and Fox News in one fell swoop. "And speaking of conservative heroes, the Koch brothers bought a table here tonight. But as usual, they used a shadowy right-wing organization as a front. Hello, Fox News."
He then warned that when he leaves office, Fox news "You’ll miss me when I’m gone. It will be harder to convince the American people that Hillary was born in Kenya."
Obama made reference to his habit of reading ten letters a night from ordinary American. " Just yesterday, I read a heartbreaking letter -- you know I get letters from folks from around the country; every day I get 10 that I read -- this one got to me. A Virginia man who’s been stuck in the same part-time job for years; no respect from his boss; no chance to get ahead," Obama said.
"I really wish Eric Cantor would stop writing me," said Obama to uproarious laughter. "You can just pick up the phone, Eric."
Perhaps the best joke of the night and the most memorable came at the expense of House Speaker John Boehner. "I’m feeling sorry -- believe it or not -- for the Speaker of the House, as well. These days, the House Republicans actually give John Boehner a harder time than they give me, which means orange really is the new black."
Obama closed on a serious note. "Tonight reminds us that we really are lucky to live in a country where reporters get to give a head of state a hard time on a daily basis -- and then, once a year, give him or her the chance, at least, to try to return the favor."
"But we also know that not every journalist, or photographer, or crew member is so fortunate, because even as we celebrate the free press tonight, our thoughts are with those in places around the globe like Ukraine, and Afghanistan, and Syria, and Egypt, who risk everything -- in some cases, even give their lives -- to report the news," said Obama
He ended the evening with one surprising joke. "And because this is the 100th anniversary of the Correspondents’ Association, I actually recorded an additional brief video thanking all of you for your hard work. Can we run the video?"
The video failed to play, and Obama asked, "What’s going on? I was told this would work. Does anybody know how to fix this?
Entering from the backstage was Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "I got this -- I see it all the time. There, that should work."
Among some of the celebrities spotted on the red carpet, according to CNN before the dinner began: "Scandal's" Tony Goldwyn, Scott Foley, Joe Morton, Bellamy Young and Dan Bucatinsky; Sens. Charles Schumer, D-New York, and John McCain, R-Arizona; Attorney General Eric Holder; Cynthia Nixon; Patrick Stewart; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; Washington "fixer" Judy Smith; Tim Tebow; Frida Pinto; IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde; Katie Couric; Richard Marx and the Winklevoss twins. Also in attendance were CNN's Jim Acosta, Michelle Kosinski, Dana Bash and Brianna Keilar.
Read part one of the White House Correspondents dinner - 2014.
White House Correspondents Dinner transcripts - May 3, 2014
CNN - Obama gets last laugh at Washington's annual correspondents' dinner
LA Times - Obama slings jokes, jabs at White House correspondents' dinner
CBS News - Obama skewers Republicans, Democrats, media at 100th White House correspondents’ dinner