WASHINGTON — President Obama sent off his final White House Correspondents’ Dinner with needles at his last year in office, a few jabs at Donald Trump, and a short film with new buddy John Boehner.
Obama’s entrance music for the speech at the Capitol Hilton: “When I’m Gone” by Anna Kendrick.
“You all look great. The end of the Republic has never looked better,” he quipped. He began with a direct hit on Hillary Clinton and Bill De Blasio for their recent eyebrow-raising routine: “I know I was a little late tonight. I was running on C.P.T. — which stands for ‘jokes that white people should not make.'”
“If this material works well, I’m going to use it at Goldman Sachs next year,” he added. “…Next year at this time, someone else will be standing here in this very spot, and it’s anyone’s guess who she will be.”
Obama noted that when he called for a change in tone of political discourse eight years ago, “I clearly should have been more specific.”
After eight years, he said he’s “gray and grizzled, just counting down the days ’til my death panel.”
“Hillary once questioned whether I’d be ready for a 3 a.m. phone call — now I’m awake anyway because I’ve got to go to the bathroom.”
He highlighted that “while in England I did have lunch with Her Majesty, the Queen, took in a performance of Shakespeare, hit the links with David Cameron — just in case anybody is still debating whether I’m black enough, I think that settles the debate.”
He poked fun at Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, who was at the dinner. “Glad to see you that you feel that you’ve earned a night off. Congratulations on all your success. The Republican Party, the nomination process -– it’s all going great. Keep it up.”
The only presidential candidate in attendance was Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — no tuxedo, just his traditional campaign-trail suit. “Bernie, you look like a million bucks,” Obama said. “Or to put it in terms you’ll understand, you look like 37,000 donations of 27 dollars each.”
“I am hurt, though, Bernie, that you’ve distancing yourself a little from me. I mean, that’s just not something that you do to your comrade.”
“Look, I’ve said how much I admire Hillary’s toughness, her smarts, her policy chops, her experience. You’ve got to admit it, though, Hillary trying to appeal to young voters is a little bit like your relative just signed up for Facebook. ‘Dear America, did you get my poke?’ ‘Is it appearing on your wall?’ ‘I’m not sure I am using this right. Love, Aunt Hillary.’ It’s not entirely persuasive,” Obama continued.
“Meanwhile, on the Republican side, things are a little more — how should we say this — a little ‘more loose.’ Just look at the confusion over the invitations to tonight’s dinner. Guests were asked to check whether they wanted steak or fish, but instead, a whole bunch of you wrote in Paul Ryan.”
The president said he was “a little hurt” that Trump — whose sons attended the event — didn’t show.
“We had so much fun the last time. And it is surprising. You’ve got a room full of reporters, celebrities, cameras, and he says no? Is this dinner too tacky for The Donald? What could he possibly be doing instead? Is he at home, eating a Trump Steak tweeting out insults to Angela Merkel? What’s he doing?” Obama said. “The Republican establishment is incredulous that he is their most likely nominee — incredulous, shocking. They say Donald lacks the foreign policy experience to be President. But, in fairness, he has spent years meeting with leaders from around the world: Miss Sweden, Miss Argentina, Miss Azerbaijan.”
He needled the media for Trump saturation coverage: “No, I don’t want to spend too much time on The Donald. Following your lead, I want to show some restraint.”
“Because I think we can all agree that from the start, he’s gotten the appropriate amount of coverage, befitting the seriousness of his candidacy,” he added. “I hope you all are proud of yourselves. The guy wanted to give his hotel business a boost, and now we’re praying that Cleveland makes it through July.”
Obama said he’s planned to stay in D.C. for a couple years after his term is up so his younger daughter can finish high school and “Michelle can stay closer to her plot of carrots.”
Obama segued into a video showing his adjustment to life post-presidency: trying to get a D.C. driver’s license with his birth certificate, telling Chuck Todd “f**k you,” hitting a golf milestone, and hanging out with Boehner — who tries to tempt Obama with some of his trademark Camel Ultra Lights.
“With that, I just have two more words to say -– Obama out,” the president told the dinner crowd before literally dropping the mic.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) May 1, 2016