President Obama again made life difficult for the comic whose job it was to follow him at the White House Correspondents Dinner. This year he immediately won the crowd over by admitting “I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be.”
He then went on to mock himself, the media and its fascination with Michelle Obama’s bangs, Fox News and the ridiculous amounts of money spent on the 2012 election:
There are other new players in the media landscape as well, like SuperPACs. Did you know that Sheldon Adelson spent $100 million of his own money last year on negative ads? You’ve got to really dislike me to spend that kind of money. I mean, that’s Oprah money. You could buy an island and call it ‘Nobama’ for that kind of money. Sheldon would have been better off offering me $100 million to drop out of the race. I probably wouldn’t have taken it, but I’d have thought about it. Michelle would have taken it.
Perhaps his biggest laugh of the night came next:
I know Republicans are still sorting out what happened in 2012, but one thing they all agree on is they need to do a better job reaching out to minorities. And look, call me self-centered, but I can think of one minority they could start with. Hello? Think of me as a trial run, you know? See how it goes.
The president also said George W. Bush’s library inspired him to build his own monument to preserve his legacy, right next door to Bush’s:
Conan O’Brien followed up with a set that mostly focused on the media, which the media-heavy crowd didn’t seem to appreciate at first. But after he told them, “You can’t hurt me,” and began to use the gavel left on the podium from earlier formalities, he found his groove. His best joke played on his own history of having hosted the dinner once before, nearly two decades ago:
It’s amazing to think how much our country’s changed in 18 years. Think about it. If in 1995 you told me that in 2013 we’d have an African-American president… with the middle name Hussein… who was just re-elected to a second term in a sluggish economy… I would have said, ‘Well, he must’ve run against Mitt Romney.’