WASHINGTON (AP) — Even though President Barack Obama and his wife can’t wait to get out of the White House, being a lame duck can hurt a guy.
“Last week Prince George showed up to our meeting in his bathrobe,” Obama cracked at the White House Correspondents’ dinner Saturday night. “That was a slap in the face.”
Obama drew plenty of laughs with his barbed remarks to a ballroom filled with journalists, politicians, and movie and television stars. It was his eighth appearance at the event and his last as president. TV host Larry Wilmore provided the professional comedy for the evening.
“If this material works well, I’m going to use it at Goldman Sachs next year,” Obama said. “Earn me some serious Tubmans.”
The president waxed nostalgic at times. “Eight years ago I said it was time to change the tone of our politics. In hindsight, I clearly should have been more specific.”
And he acknowledged that the years had taken their toll. “I’m gray, grizzled … counting down the days to my death panel.”
Turning serious at the end of his remarks, the president thanked the White House press corps and praised a free press.
“I just have two more words to say: Obama out.” With that, he held out the mic and dropped it.
As usual the Washington Hilton ballroom was a celebrity-spotters dream. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders joined Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and other government officials taking a seat. Also on hand were Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Republican front-runner Donald Trump, a regular in recent years, was absent tis time, but a son and daughter-in-law, Donald Jr. and Vanessa Trump, were spotted on the red carpet.
Among the film and television performers at the event were Oscar winners Helen Mirren and Jared Leto, “Breaking Bad” actor Bryan Cranston, “Independence Day” stars Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum, actress Rachel McAdams, and “Night Manager” miniseries star Tom Hiddleston.
Proceeds from the dinner go toward journalism scholarships and reporting awards. This year’s winners:
— Carol Lee of the Wall Street Journal, winner of the Aldo Beckman Memorial Award for excellence in White House coverage.
— Matt Viser of the Boston Globe, winner of the Merriman Smith Award for outstanding White House coverage under deadline pressure.
— Norah O’Donnell of CBS News, winner of the Merriman Smith Award for broadcast journalism.
— Terrence McCoy of The Washington Post and Neela Banerjee, John Cushman Jr., David Hasemyer and Lisa Song of InsideClimate, winners of the Edgar A. Poe award, which recognizes excellence in coverage of events or investigative topics of regional or national interest.
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