President Obama ended his eighth and final address to the White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday night by saying, “Obama out,” quite literally dropping the mic, and walking away from the podium.
The annual black tie event is a gathering of politicians, celebrities, and reporters, usually filled with humorous speeches and roasts. The capstone to the evening’s festivities was a reference to basketball legend Kobe Bryant’s “Mamba out” mic drop that followed a speech given by the former Los Angeles Lakers player after the last NBA game of his 20-year career on April 13. Bryant famously delivered the line, dropped the mic, and walked off the court to a standing ovation, complete with blowing a kiss.
Now, the President of the United States, with a humor and style that will not be soon forgotten, uttered these words.
“With that, I have just two more words to say: Obama out.”
It was certainly an interesting dinner Saturday night. In what will be Obama’s final annual gathering of the White House Correspondents’ Association as president, there were many traditionally comedic speeches, some self-deprecating humor and some seriousness, mixed in with the occasional jab at celebrities and prominent GOP politicians. Of course, Obama couldn’t resist giving the 2016 election race the humorous treatment it deserves.
Front-runners Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were among the top targets of parody, though none of the candidates were spared. Also roasted were Sen. Ted Cruz, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Gov. John Kasich, as Huffington Postreported. He also took shots at CNN anchor Jake Tapper, people who still think his birth certificate is fake, and even himself.
Hillary Clinton was the target for a variety of Obama’s jokes on Saturday night, with him remarking, “Hillary once questioned whether I’d be awake for the 3 a.m. phone call: Now I’m awake anyway cause I have to go to the bathroom,” according to live coverage by the Washington Post.
Obama also said that the former Secretary of State and Democratic front-runner didn’t have a slogan as catchy as “feel the Bern,” showing an image of Clinton’s campaign logo pushing a boulder up a hill, complete with the slogan, “Trudge up the Hill!” But he delivered perhaps his most stinging barb to Clinton when he made reference her infamous “colored people time” joke that caused a social media firestorm earlier this month.
“I know I was a little late tonight,” Obama said, as reported by NBC News, “I was running on CPT — which stands for jokes that white people should not make.”
Obama also poked fun at other obvious target Sen. Ted Cruz, referencing his recent gaff of calling a basketball hoop a “basketball ring.”
“What else is in his lexicon? Baseball sticks? Football hats?” Obama asked the crowd, as HuffPo reported. “But sure, I’m the foreign one.”
Though he saved him for last, Obama also had some digs into the notably absent Republican front-runner Donald Trump. Plenty of material was ripe for parody during the course of the night, though the President seemed to hold back some.
“Is this dinner too tacky for The Donald?” Obama asked, according to the Post. He then theorized that Trump was at home instead, “eating Trump Steaks, tweeting insults to Angela Merkel.”
“The Republican establishment is incredulous that he is their most likely nominee,” Obama added. “I think we can all agree that, from the start, he has gotten the appropriate amount of coverage befitting the seriousness of his candidacy.”
In response to uproarious laughter, Obama added sardonically, “I hope you are all proud of yourselves.”
Comedy Central’s Larry Wilmore, however, did not hold back when it came time for him to speak, with mixed results from the audience.
“I can’t understand why everyone treats Donald Trump with kid gloves,” Wilmore said, as quoted in the Post, “and then I realize they’re the only gloves that’ll fit his stupid little baby hands.”
The late-night talk host pulled no punches with Trump, commenting on the President’s aged appearance since he entered office, and joking, “your hair is so white it tried to punch me at a Trump rally.”
Journalists and pundits will no doubt be analyzing the President’s speech for a while, but it is the “mic drop” at the end of the speech may very well go down in political history as one of the most famous acts by a sitting president, Politicus USA said.
“The President compared Hillary Clinton’s appeals to young people to your grandma trying to use Facebook. He got in bundles of jabs at Donald Trump. Most of his humor was aimed at himself, and his buddy movie with John Boehner was a true highlight, but in the end, it was the Obama mic drop that will be remembered.”
The President, notably, stopped short of mocking Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren, who showed up to the event with a non-permanent tattoo honoring Prince. The purple tattoo, located just under her collarbone, was in the shape of the famously unpronounceable “love symbol” that became synonymous with the late pop star.
“Helen Mirren is here tonight,” Obama said, according to HuffPo. “I don’t have a joke here, I just think Helen Mirren is awesome.”
[Photo by Olivier Douliery/Pool/Getty Images]