Politicians, journalists, and celebrities gathered on Saturday night for the White House Correspondents’ Annual Dinner to witness President Obama relish his eighth, and last, address.
“Standing here, I can’t help but be reflective, a little sentimental,” President Obama said. “Eight years ago, I said it was time to change the tone of our politics. In hindsight, I clearly should have been more specific.”
Prior to Obama’s comedic riffs, guests at Washington’s Hilton Hotel ballroom were treated to a blooper reel, splicing the president’s various fumbles, including knocking over audio equipment, calling Today show host Matt Lauer “Tim,” and branding Kanye West a “jacka**” in one infamous “hot mic” moment, reports USA Today.
“I was running on C.P.T,” Obama said when he finally took the podium. “Which stands for jokes that white people should not make.”
The joke was a pointed reference to a recent exchange between Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who reportedly attributed his delayed endorsement of Clinton to “C.P. Time” or “Colored People’s Time.”
“C.P.T.” wasn’t the only joke Obama made at the expense of a potential presidential candidate. The president also aimed at Republican candidate Donald Trump.
“I am a little hurt that he’s not here tonight. We had so much fun the last time,” Obama said. “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?”
Shortly after taking a swing at both Clinton and “The Donald,” Obama complimented Democratic candidate and dinner attendee Bernie Sanders, saying, “Bernie, you look like a million bucks. Or, to put it in terms you understand, you look like 37,000 donations of $27 each.”
Obama also made more than a few jokes at his own expense, laughing at his age and reflecting back on his time in office and how he will live his life post-White House.
“Eight years ago I was a young man, full of idealism and vigor,” Obama said. “And look at me now: I am grey and grizzled, and just counting down the days ’till my death panel.”
Aside from the jokes, Obama took the time to celebrate the presence of The Washington Post’s Jason Rezaian, who – on the heels of his release from a nearly 18-month-long detainment in Iran – was on-site to present awards to the Wall Street Journal’s Carol Lee, CBS This Morning’s Norah O’Donnell, the Boston Globe’s Matt Viser, The Washington Post’s Terrence McCoy, and Inside Climate’s Neela Banerjee, Lisa Song, David Hasemyer, and John Cushman Jr.
“Last time this year, we spoke of Jason’s courage as he endured the isolation of an Iranian prison. This year, we see that courage in the flesh, and it’s a living testament to the very idea of a free press,” Obama said before thanking the press corps for their hard work.
Obama ended his speech telling the audience, “And with that, I just have two more words to say — Obama out.” Dramatically bringing two fingers to his lips, and using his other hand to lift a microphone up in front of him, Obama dropped the mic.
[Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images]