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HindustanTimes Sat,12 Jul 2014

World

At reporters’ dinner, US prez tickles audience
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Washington, April 28, 2013
First Published: 11:50 IST(28/4/2013)
Last Updated: 00:42 IST(29/4/2013)

He tried it, inspired by the first lady. And pictures of Obama with bangs flashed on TV screens. But unlike Michelle Obama’s makeovers, he didn’t get a ratings bounce.

One night every year the US president gets to poke fun at himself, his political rivals and the media that closely tracks every movement in the White House.

The annual White House Correspondents’ dinner is an occasion for journalists to switch roles and become the celebs they cover for a living.

There is always a professional stand-up comedian to headline the event, but the president’s act is always the high point of the after-dinner show broadcast live.

US President Barack Obama laughs as comedian Conan O'Brien speaks during the White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington. (Reuters)

Conan O’Brien was the pro this Saturday event.But Obama’s team of joke writers did a pretty decent job. “These days, I look in the mirror and I have to admit, I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be.” He took a shot at himself on his recent comment about the Indian-origin California attorney generals looks. And yet, even after all this time, I still make rookie mistakes.

Comedian Conan O'Brien smashes a gavel as he speaks during the White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington. (Reuters)

Like, I’m out in California, we’re at a fundraiser, we’re having a nice time.  “I happen to mention that Kamala Harris is the best-looking attorney general in the country. As you might imagine, I got trouble when I got back home. Who knew Eric Holder (US attorney general) was so sensitive?”

 

About his now infamous ability to schmooze with Republican congressmen, Obama said he has been advised to take Republican leader in Senate Mitch McConnell out for a drink.

US President Barack Obama acknowledges comedian Conan O'Brien as he speaks during the White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington. (Reuters)

“Why don’t you get a drink with Mitch McConnell?” he said to laughter, applause. McConnell once said his single most important agenda was to ensure Obama was a one-time president.

US President Obama shows a mock picture of him sharing his wife's hairdo during the White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington.

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