On Saturday night, President Obama had the ballroom of the Washington Hilton rolling (and himself, since he laughed at a few of his own jokes) at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. His comedy routine at the annual event, which helps fund scholarships for D.C. journalism students, wasn’t quite as biting as last year, when he directed jabs at Donald Trump in rapid succession, but he still had lighthearted fun at the expense of his detractors.
Explaining that his follow-up act, Jimmy Kimmel, got his start as co-host of Comedy Central’s The Man Show, the president quipped: “In Washington, that’s what we call a congressional hearing on contraception.”
Of course, he also directed some snark at his contenders in the presidential race. “Now, I know at this point many of you are expecting me to go after my likely opponent, Newt Gingrich. Newt, there’s still time, man,” he said before moving on to Mitt Romney, saying they actually have much in common. “We … both have degrees from Harvard. I have one, he has two. What a snob.”
The president’s funniest moments may have been when he took shots at himself — or, at least, the perception of himself. First he gave a sneak preview of the “secret agenda” that he’s been saving in the event of a second term.
“In my first term, I sang Al Green. In my second term, I’m going with Young Jeezy,” he said, no doubt giving the rapper a winning sound bite for his next mixtape. Other pieces of his ominous second-term agenda included “winning the war on Christmas” and replacing his repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” with a new policy called, “It’s Raining Men.”
Mixing it up with correspondents in the crowd was a slew of politicos and Hollywood celebrities, including Attorney General Eric Holder and Kim Kardashian (both guests at the Washington Post pre-reception, perfectly illustrating the night’s mix), as well as Viola Davis, John Legend, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Rosario Dawson, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Jeffrey Wright, Rashida Jones and Charlize Theron (oh, and The Root staff).
Obama ended his routine with a reference to a recent real-life scandal, saying, “I had a lot more material prepared, but I have to get the Secret Service home in time for their new curfew.”
Cynthia Gordy is The Root‘s senior political correspondent.
Check out Watch This: Obama Roasts White House Press to see a video of President Obama’s remarks.