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Obama jokes about Clinton email, knocks Republicans at dinner

President Barack Obama took aim at his Republican opponents and his gaffe-prone vice president on Saturday in a satirical speech that included a roast of his former secretary of state Hillary Clinton over her recent problems with email.

world Updated: Mar 15, 2015 23:36 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times
Barack Obama,Annual Gridiron Dinner,Hillary Clinton

The man credited with running the most tech savvy political campaigns ever, says he came nowhere close to his one-time rival, cabinet minister, and possible successor.

"Hillary has a server in her house!" President Barack Obama said Saturday of his former secretary of state Hilary Clinton's use of private email while in office.

"I didn't even know you could have one of those. I am so far behind," he added. Obama was at an annual DC event at which guests lampoon themselves and others.

Obama started his riff predicting he will get more laughs this time than ever before - "I'm not saying I'm any funnier. I'm saying weed is now legal in D.C."

DC legalised privately growing and sharing recreational marijuana (medical use is legal, to be sold against prescription) in February - sale remains prohibited.

The president is no stranger to marijuana use. He wrote bout it in his 1995 memoir, Dreams from my father: "Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it."

But Saturday night was not going to be about his experiments with weed. He was next on to his vice-president, the irrepressible, gaffe-prone Joe Biden.

"Joe rubs my shoulders, too," Obama said. "It's not bad. It feels pretty good." It was a dig at Biden rubbing defense secretary Ash Carter's wife's shoulders at his swearing in.

Staying topical, President Obama went after the controversial open letter Republican senators wrote recently to Iranian hardliners urging them to not take current talks seriously.

"You don't diminish your office by taking a selfie," the president started, referring to Republican criticizing him for the funny selfies he did to promote healthcare reforms.

"You do it," he continued, "by sending a poorly written letter to Iran. Really. That wasn't a joke."

First Published: Mar 15, 2015 12:50 IST