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The best lines from Obama’s White House correspondents’ dinner speech

🕐 4 min read

President Barack Obama’s last speech at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner on Saturday night was, like his previous years, packed with jokes. Targets included the media, the 2016 presidential candidates, and specifically Donald Trump. There were a lot of Trump jokes, but the president also joked about:

– Being a lame duck:

(referencing the Supreme Court vacancy) “I think we got Republican senators Tim Scott and Cory Gardner. They are in the house, which reminds me: Security, bar the doors. Judge Merrick Garland, come on out! We are going to do this right here and right now. It’s like the Red Wedding.”

“Prince George showed up to our meeting in his bathrobe. That was a slap in the face. A clear breach of protocol.”

“In my final year, my approval ratings keep going up. The last time I was this high, I was trying to decide on my major.”

– His future:

“It is an honor to be here at my last, and perhaps the last White House correspondents’ dinner.”

“If this material works well, I’m gonna use it at Goldman Sachs next year. Earn me some serious Tubmans.”

“Eight years ago, I was a young man full of idealism and vigor. And look at me now, I am gray and grizzled, and counting down the days to my death panel.”

– Hillary Clinton:

“Next year at this time, someone else will be standing in this very spot, and it’s anyone guess who she will be.”

“Hillary trying to appeal to young voters is a little bit like your relative who just signed up for Facebook. ‘Dear America, did you get my poke? Is it appearing on your wall? I’m not sure I’m using this right. Love, Aunt Hillary.'”

– A very bad joke that Bill de Blasio recently made with Hillary Clinton:

“I know, I was a little late tonight. I was running on CPT, which stands for ‘jokes that white people should not make.'”

– The 2016 race:

“Eight years ago I said it was time to change the tone of our politics. In hindsight, I clearly should have been more specific.”

[on former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg] “It’s not an entirely fair comparison between you and The Donald. After all Mike was a big city mayor. He knows policy in-depth. And he’s actually worth the amount of money he says he is.”

[on Bernie Sanders] “I am hurt, though, Bernie, that you have been distancing yourself a little from me. I mean, that’s just not something you do to your comrade.”

“Meanwhile, some candidates aren’t polling high enough to qualify for their own joke tonight.” [the screen shows an image of John Kasich]

[on Ted Cruz] “He went to Indiana – Hoosier country – stood on a basketball court, and called the hoop a ‘basketball ring.’ What else is in his lexicon? Baseball sticks? Football hats? But sure, I’m the foreign one. . . . “

– The media:

“Savannah Guthrie, she’s left the White House press corps to host the ‘Today’ show. Norah O’Donnell left the briefing room to host CBS’ ‘This Morning.’ Jake Tapper left journalism to join CNN.”

“I also would like to acknowledge the some of the award-winning reporters who we have with us tonight. Rachel McAdams, Mike Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber, thank you all for everything that you’ve done. I’m just joking. As you know, ‘Spotlight’ is a film, a movie about investigative journalists with the resources, the autonomy to chase down the truth and hold the powerful accountable. Best fantasy film since ‘Star Wars.’ “

“Every year at this dinner, somebody at this dinner makes a joke about Buzzfeed, for example, changing the media landscape. And every year The Washington Post laughs a little bit less hard.”

– Joe Biden:

“I want to thank him for his friendship, for his counsel, for always giving it to me straight, for not shooting anybody in the face. Thank you, Joe.”

– Donald Trump:

“I am a little hurt that he’s not here tonight. We had so much fun the last time. And it is surprising. You 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?”

“There’s one area where Donald’s experience could be invaluable, because Trump knows a thing or two about running waterfront properties into the ground.”

“That’s probably enough. I’ve got more material. I don’t want to spend too much time on The Donald. Following your lead, I want to show some restraint.”

“The guy wanted to give his hotel business a boost, and now we’re praying that Cleveland makes it through July.”

“With that I just have two more words to say: Obama Out.” [And then he dropped the mic, literally.]

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