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• Obama at the 2010 WHCD Dinner
• Funniest Obama Quotes of All Time
Following is the transcript of President Barack Obama's comedy routine at the 2009 White House Correspondents' Dinner:
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THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you, everybody. Good evening. You know, I had an entire speech prepared for this wonderful occasion, but now that I'm here I think I'm going to try something a little different. Tonight I want to speak from the heart. I'm going to speak off the cuff. (Teleprompters rise.) (Laughter and applause.)
Good evening. (Laughter.) Pause for laughter. (Laughter.) Wait a minute, this may not be working as well as I -- (laughter.) Let me try that again.
Good evening, everybody. (Applause.) I would like to welcome you all to the 10-day anniversary of my first 100 days. (Laughter.) I am Barack Obama. Most of you covered me. All of you voted for me. (Laughter and applause.) Apologies to the Fox table. (Laughter.) They're -- where are they? I have to confess I really did not want to be here tonight, but I knew I had to come -- just one more problem that I've inherited from George W. Bush. (Laughter.)
But now that I'm here, it's great to be here. It's great to see all of you. Michelle Obama is here, the First Lady of the United States. (Applause.) Hasn't she been an outstanding First Lady? (Applause.) She's even begun to bridge the differences that have divided us for so long, because no matter which party you belong to we can all agree that Michelle has the right to bare arms. (Laughter and applause.)
Now Sasha and Malia aren't here tonight because they're grounded. You can't just take Air Force One on a joy ride to Manhattan. (Laughter.) I don't care whose kids you are. (Laughter.) We've been setting some ground rules here. They're starting to get a little carried away.
Now, speaking -- when I think about children obviously I think about Michelle and it reminds me that tomorrow is Mother's Day. Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers in the audience. (Applause.) I do have to say, though, that this is a tough holiday for Rahm Emanuel because he's not used to saying the word "day" after "mother." (Laughter.) That's true. (Laughter.)
David Axelrod is here. You know, David and I have been together for a long time. I can still remember -- I got to sort of -- I tear up a little bit when I think back to that day that I called Ax so many years ago and said, you and I can do wonderful things together. And he said to me the same thing that partners all across America are saying to one another right now: Let's go to Iowa and make it official. (Laughter and applause.)
Michael Steele is in the house tonight. (Applause.) Or as he would say, "in the heezy." (Laughter.) What's up? (Laughter.) Where is Michael? Michael, for the last time, the Republican Party does not qualify for a bailout. (Laughter.) Rush Limbaugh does not count as a troubled asset, I'm sorry. (Laughter.)
Dick Cheney was supposed to be here but he is very busy working on his memoirs, tentatively titled, "How to Shoot Friends and Interrogate People." (Laughter.)
You know, it's been a whirlwind of activity these first hundred days. We've enacted a major economic recovery package, we passed a budget, we forged a new path in Iraq, and no President in history has ever named three Commerce Secretaries this quickly. (Laughter.) Which reminds me, if Judd Gregg is here, your business cards are ready now. (Laughter.)
On top of that, I've also reversed the ban on stem cell research, signed an expansion -- (applause) -- signed an expansion of the children's health insurance. Just last week, Car and Driver named me auto executive of the year. (Laughter.) Something I'm very proud of.
We've also begun to change the culture in Washington. We've even made the White House a place where people can learn and can grow. Just recently, Larry Summers asked if he could chair the White House Council on Women and Girls. (Laughter.) And I do appreciate that Larry is here tonight because it is seven hours past his bedtime. (Laughter.) Gibbs liked that one. (Laughter.)
In the last hundred days, we've also grown the Democratic Party by infusing it with new energy and bringing in fresh, young faces like Arlen Specter. (Laughter.) Now, Joe Biden rightly deserves a lot of credit for convincing Arlen to make the switch, but Secretary Clinton actually had a lot to do with it too. One day she just pulled him aside and she said, Arlen, you know what I always say -- "if you can't beat them, join them." (Laughter.)
Which brings me to another thing that's changed in this new, warmer, fuzzier White House, and that's my relationship with Hillary. You know, we had been rivals during the campaign, but these days we could not be closer. In fact, the second she got back from Mexico she pulled into a hug and gave me a big kiss. (Laughter.) Told me I'd better get down there myself. (Laughter.) Which I really appreciated. I mean, it was -- it was nice. (Laughter.)
And of course we've also begun to change America's image in the world. We talked about this during this campaign and we're starting to execute. We've renewed alliances with important partners and friends. If you look on the screen there, there I am with Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso. There I am with Gordon Brown.
But as I said during the campaign, we can't just talk to our friends. As hard as it is, we also have to talk to our enemies, and I've begun to do exactly that. Take a look at the monitor there. (Laughter.) Now, let me be clear, just because he handed me a copy of Peter Pan does not mean that I'm going to read it -- (laughter) -- but it's good diplomatic practice to just accept these gifts.
All this change hasn't been easy. Change never is. So I've cut the tension by bringing a new friend to the White House. He's warm, he's cuddly, loyal, enthusiastic. You just have to keep him on a tight leash. Every once in a while he goes charging off in the wrong direction and gets himself into trouble. But enough about Joe Biden. (Laughter.)
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