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article imageObama Keeps Them Laughing at White House Correspondents' Gala

By Brandon McPhail     May 10, 2009 in Politics
Bailouts, a housing crisis, pirates, and the swine flu have marked the first 110 days of the Obama administration. Saturday night’s White House Correspondents’ Gala was an opportunity for the new and beleaguered president to throw some punches.
Obama spared almost no one with both witty and sometimes risqué comments. He started with the struggling Republican Party de facto leader Rush Limbaugh, comparing the talk show host to a “troubled asset” unworthy of a bailout for the GOP. Michael Steele managed to get through the evening unscathed.
While his opponents were not spared his brand of presidential humour, Obama geared many remarks towards friends, family and colleagues who have also been under remarkable stress throughout this early presidency. Hilary Clinton, who has been working overtime and racking up the airmiles criss-crossing the globe was the butt of one of Obama’s more risqué comments. Obama joked that the first thing Clinton did upon returning from Mexico was pull him in for a big hug and kiss, suggesting he might consider a trip to the Swine Flu plagued nation. “The second she got back from Mexico, she pulled me into a hug and gave me a big kiss -- told me to get down there myself."
Remarking on the recent Air Force One New York flyby, Obama joked that he was not impressed with the joyriding antics of his two young daughters. “Sasha and Malia aren't here tonight because they're grounded...You can't just take Air Force One on a joyride to Manhattan -- I don't care whose kids you are.”
The evening began for many GOP guests at CNN Hardball Producer, Tammy Haddad’s pre-“nerdprom” party. “Nerdprom” was the term coined by many who twittered their way through the night. One former McCain aide, Marty Eisenstadt twittered the following at 4pm yesterday, before leaving for the gala: “Ran into Val Kilmer, still on couch at Haddad's house. We're splitting cab to #nerdprom when he stands up. Could be a while.”
The White House Correspondents’ Gala is a time for politicians and the president to take a night off from high-pace politics and have some fun. Two years ago at the Gala, Bush advisor Karl Rove made headlines rapping on stage with NBC’s Brian Williams. Comedian Wanda Sykes kept the tradition of comedy alive when she spoke of the pride African-Americans feel in their first black president "unless you screw up. And then it's going to be -- what's up with the half-white guy."
The audience included such Hollywood elites as Steven Speilberg, George Lucas, Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Owen Wilson, Tyra Banks, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore.
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