Published with permission from Alternet.
It’s been a long eight years for President Obama, and the “end of the republic” is looking great, as he said. But tonight was all about the next president. And no candidate was spared from Obama’s scathing roast.
“Sorry I was late, I was running on CPT, which stands for jokes white people should not make,” Obama told the crowd, referencing Hillary Clinton and Bill de Blasio’s awkward skit at NYC’s Inner Circle Dinner earlier this month. “If this material works well I’m going to use it at Goldman Sachs next year… earn me some serious Tubmans.” Because, as he puts it, “Next year, someone else will be standing in this spot and it’s anyone’s guess who she will be.”
Obama was also reminiscent of campaigning with Clinton. “Hillary once questioned if I’d be ready for a 3am phone call. Now, I’m awake anyway. I gotta go to the bathroom.”
The president also pointed out several members of the audience, including GOP Chair Reince Priebus. “Congratulations on all your success. The Republican Party… the nomination process, it’s all going great,” he announced.
Obama then addressed the “sting” of being Michael Bloomberg, who also attended the dinner. “A controversial New York billionaire is leading the GOP primary, and it is not you!” Obama exclaimed.
But perhaps his most touching shout-out was to Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, “the bright new face of the Democratic party,” Obama joked.
“Bernie, you look like a million bucks,” the president told Sanders, “or 37,000 individual donations of $27 each.”
Obama isn’t surprised by the Bernie phenomenon and even commended Sanders on his marketing efforts.
“Feel the Bern, it’s a good slogan!” Obama cheered. He then turned to focus again on Hillary.
“I’ve said how much I admire Hillary’s chops, her toughness. But Hillary trying to appeal to young voters is like an old relative sending you a poke on Facebook,” said Obama. Bern.
But of course, as everyone who followed the debates knows, “Things are a little more loose on the Republican side,” as Obama puts it. And Republicans are caught between one candidate with a “basketball ring” fascination (Cruz) and another “not polling high enough to get a joke” (Kasich) and of course, the Donald.
“You know I’ve got to talk about Trump,” Obama said, remembering when Trump attended last in 2011. “Is this dinner too tacky for the Donald?” Obama asked. “Is he at home eating a Trump steak tweeting insults at Angela Merkel?”
Despite Trump’s lack of foreign or domestic policy experience, he has met with world leaders (Miss America contestants) and “knows a thing about running waterfront properties into the ground,” as Obama puts it. Which could be perfect for closing Guantanamo—who knows?!
“From the start he’s gotten the appropriate amount of coverage,” Obama remarked to the reporters. “The guy wanted to give his hotel business a boost and now we’re praying Cleveland makes it through July!”
So maybe we won’t like our choices this November, but we’ve only really got two.
“Guests were asked if they wanted steak or fish [for dinner] but a whole bunch of you wrote in Paul Ryan,” Obama joked. “That’s not a choice, people!”