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Daniel Kurtzman

Biden Lampoons Obama at Gridiron Dinner

By March 22, 2009

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Obama on Tongith Show with Jay Leno Vice President Joe Biden stepped in to perform the president's duties at the Gridiron Club dinner, and used the opportunity to poke fun at his boss.

Obama skipped out on the annual comedy roast hosted by Washington's media elite, marking the first time a president has failed to show up in his first year in office since Grover Cleveland in 1885 (presumably because Obama already used up all of his good material on "The Tonight Show").

Fortunately, Joe "Give Me a Bleeping Break" Biden was ready to test out his comedic chops.

"Axelrod really wanted me to do this on teleprompter -- but I told him I'm much better when I wing it," Biden said, referring to Obama's senior adviser. "I know these evenings run long, so I'm going to be brief. Talk about the audacity of hope. President Obama does send his greetings, though. He can't be here tonight -- because he's busy getting ready for Easter. He thinks it's about him."

More highlights from Biden's comedy routine:

On dying newspapers: "I understand these are dark days for the newspaper business, but I hate it when people say that newspapers are obsolete. That's totally untrue. I know from firsthand experience. I recently got a puppy, and you can't housebreak a puppy on the Internet."

On being vice president: "You know, I never realized just how much power Dick Cheney had until my first day on the job. I walked into my office, and you know how the outgoing president always leaves the incoming president a note in his desk? I opened my drawer and Dick Cheney had left me Barack Obama's birth certificate."

On his propensity for gaffes: "I'd like to address some of the things I said: Like when I said that 'JOBS' is a three-letter word. I did say that. But I didn't mean it literally. It's like how, right now, most people think AIG is a four-letter word. Or when I announced our stimulus package website, I was asked how you get to it: All I said was I didn't know the website number. What I really meant to say was, 'Ted Stevens didn't tell me what tube the website is in.'"

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzegger, the featured Republican speaker, offered a different explanation for why Obama didn't show: "He's just not that into you."

"Here you were expecting 'Yes we can,'" Schwarzenegger added. "And instead what did you get? 'Hasta la vista, baby.'"

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, the featured Democratic speaker, said that former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska, "really set back the cause of hot governors."

Then, with an eye on Pennsylvania's chief executive, Granholm added: "You know where I'm coming from, Ed Rendell."

Obama may have blown off the Gridiron crowd, but he has two more opportunities to play the role of comedian in chief at the upcoming Radio & TV Correspondents Association Dinner and the White House Correspondents' Dinner.

See our complete coverage of Washington's "Silly Season" for highlights from comedy galas from previous years.

Funny Political Speeches
Joe Biden Jokes Obama the Comedian


March 25, 2009 at 3:23 am
(1) mark says:

Look out Jimmy Fallon, Biden is coming for your job.

March 25, 2009 at 3:29 am
(2) FloridaPete says:

Joe is friggin hilarious! love that dude!

March 27, 2009 at 5:38 pm
(3) Alexi says:

Always love Joe — he’s been way too quiet lately.

April 9, 2013 at 8:33 am
(4) steve says:

Joke Biden

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