Obama’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner Speech


You may have already read some of the highlights of Barack Obama’s speech on Saturday night at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. (“Sasha and Malia aren’t here tonight because they’re grounded. You can’t just take Air Force One on a joyride to Manhattan” … “Mother’s Day is a tough holiday for [Rahm Emanuel]. He’s not used to having to say the word ‘day’ after ‘mother.’”) The roast was widely hailed as hilarious — a subtle but important victory for a president whose one notable weakness on the charm front is that he’s not seen as particularly funny. But the night was not without its controversy. Obama was caught on video smiling gently at a line from headliner Wanda Sykes’s uproarious speech, when she cracked that, “Rush Limbaugh was the twentieth hijacker, but he was so strung out on Oxycontin he missed his flight.” She caught flak for the line, as did Obama (from right-wing critics) for appearing amused. But whatever you’ve read so far (and we’ll have a Party Lines slideshow up later with all of the fancy celebrities we interviewed there), the video of Obama’s speech is worth watching — if only to catch when Glenn Beck does a fist pump in the air when Obama says to the assembled press: “Most of you covered me, all of you voted for me. Apologies to the Fox table.”

Related: View our Party Lines slideshow for more from the White House Correspondents’ Dinner and after-parties.