President Obama Remarks at 2010 White House Correspondents’ Dinner

President Obama Remarks at 2010 White House Correspondents’ Dinner


[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] THANK YOU. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. THANK YOU. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] THANK YOU SO MUCH EVERYBODY. THANK YOU. PLEASE HAVE A SEAT. THANK YOU SO MUCH. ED AND TO ALL THE OTHER BOARD MEMBERS, TO HONORED GUESTS AND TO THE LOVELY FIRST LADY — [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] GOOD EVENING. ED’S RIGHT. I WORK A LOT. AND SO I WASN’T SURE THAT I SHOULD ACTUALLY COME TONIGHT.
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BIDEN TALKED ME INTO IT. [LAUGHTER] HE LEANED OVER AND HE SAID,
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MR. PRESIDENT — [LAUGHTER]
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THIS IS NO ORDINARY DINNER — [LAUGHTER] THIS IS A BIG [BEEP] MEAL!
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[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] [LAUGHTER] IT’S BEEN QUITE A YEAR SINCE I’VE SPOKEN HERE LAST. LOTS OF UPS, LOTS OF DOWNS, EXCEPT FOR MY APPROVAL RATINGS,
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WHICH HAVE JUST GONE DOWN. [LAUGHTER] BUT THAT’S POLITICS. IT DOESN’T BOTHER ME. BESIDES, I HAPPEN TO KNOW THAT MY APPROVAL RATINGS ARE STILL VERY HIGH IN THE COUNTRY OF MY
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BIRTH. [LAUGHTER] [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] AND THEN THE OTHER DAY, MY DEAR FRIEND, HILLARY CLINTON PULLED ME ASIDE AND GAVE ME A PEP TALK AND SAID DESPITE THE NUMBERS, DON’T WORRY, BRALK, YOU’RE LIKEABLE ENOUGH, WHICH
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MADE ME FEEL BETTER. [LAUGHTER] I MAY NOT HAVE HAD THE STAR POWER THAT I ONCE HAD, BUT IN MY
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DEFENSE, NEITHER DO ALL OF YOU. [LAUGHTER] PEOPLE SAY TO ME, MR. PRESIDENT, YOU SAVED THE BANKING INDUSTRY AND GM AND CHRYSLER. WHAT ABOUT THE NEWS BUSINESS? I HAVE TO EXPLAIN, HEY, I’M JUST THE PRESIDENT, I’M NOT A MIRACLE
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WORKER HERE. [LAUGHTER] THOUGH I’M GLAD THAT THE ONLY PERSON WHOSE RATINGS FELL MORE THAN MINE. GREAT TO SEE YOU, JAY. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] I’M GLAD THAT I’M SPEAKING FIRST, BECAUSE WE HAVE ALL SEEN WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SOMEBODY TAKES
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THE TIME SLOT AFTER LENO. [LAUGHTER] [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] BY THE WAY, ALL OF THE JOKES HERE TONIGHT ARE BROUGHT TO YOU BY OUR FRIENDS AT GOLDMAN SACHS. SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO WORRY, THEY
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MAKE MONEY WHETHER YOU LAUGH OR
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NOT. [LAUGHTER] WE DO HAVE A NUMBER OF NOTABLE GUESTS IN ATTENDANCE HERE TONIGHT. OBVIOUSLY, I’M MOST PLEASED THAT MICHELLE ACCOMPANIED ME. SHE DOESN’T ALWAYS GO TO THESE
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THINGS. [APPLAUSE] AND THERE ARE FEW THINGS IN LIFE THAT ARE HARDER TO FIND AND
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MORE IMPORTANT TO KEEP THAN LOVE . WELL, LOVE AND A BIRTH
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CERTIFICATE. [LAUGHTER] THE JONAS BROTHERS ARE HERE. THEY’RE OUT THERE SOMEWHERE. SASHA AND MA LEA ARE HUGE FANS, BUT BOYS, DON’T GET ANY IDEAS. I HAVE TWO WORDS FOR YOU. PREDATOR DRONES.
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YOU WILL NEVER SEE IT COMING. [LAUGHTER]
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YOU THINK I’M JOKING? [LAUGHTER] SPEAKING OF TWEEN HEART
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THROBS, SCOTT BROWN IS HERE. [LAUGHTER] I ADMIRE SCOTT. A POLITICIAN IN WASHINGTON WITH
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NOTHING TO HIDE. [LAUGHTER] NOW YOU SHOULD BE AWARE THAT SCOTT BROWN IS NOT THE ONLY ONE WITH A CELLATIOUS FLOATING AROUND. DAVID AXELROD WAS OFFERED ONE. I DIDN’T KNOW THAT KRISPY KREME
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HAD A CATALOG, BUT IT’S TRUE. [LAUGHTER] I SAW MICHAEL STEELE BACK STAGE WHEN WE WERE TAKING PICTURES, A.K.A., NOTORIOUS G.O.P. HE KNOWS WHAT HURTS TODAY,
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TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTING. [LAUGHTER] MY BROTHER. I DID A SIMILAR ROUTINE LAST YEAR BUT IT ALWAYS WORKED. ODDS ARE THAT THE SALAHIS ARE
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HERE. [LAUGHTER] THERE HAVEN’T BEEN PEOPLE MORE UNWELCOME AT A PARTY SINCE
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CHARLIE CRIST. [LAUGHTER] UNFORTUNATELY JOHN MCCAIN COULDN’T MAKE IT. RECENTLY HE CLAIMED HE NEVER IDENTIFIED HIMSELF AS A MAVERICK. AND WE ALL KNOW WHAT HAPPENS IN ARIZONA WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE I.D.
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ADIOS AMIGOS! [LAUGHTER] I FEEL FOR JOHN. WE WERE ON THE ROAD TOGETHER AND OBVIOUSLY HAD A HARD-FOUGHT BATTLE AND YOU LEARN THAT POLITICS ISN’T EASY. THIS YEAR, I HAVE EXPERIENCED MY SHARE OF DISAPPOINTMENTS. FOR EXAMPLE, I HAD MY HEART SET ON THE NOBEL PRIZE FOR PSYCHICS.
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BUT HEY, YOU CAN’T WIN THEM ALL. [LAUGHTER] SPEAKING OF UNDESERVED HONORS, A FEW WEEKS AGO, I WAS ABLE TO THROW OUT THE FIRST PITCH AT THE NATIONALS GAME. AND I DON’T KNOW IF YOU SAW IT, BUT I THREW IT A LITTLE HIGH AND A LITTLE OUTSIDE. THIS IS HOW FOX NEWS COVERED IT. “PRESIDENT PANDERS TO EXTREME
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LEFT WING OF BATTER BOX.” . MSNBC HAD A DIFFERENT TAKE. PRESIDENT PITCHES NO-HITTER. [LAUGHTER] AND THEN CNN WENT A DIFFERENT WAY ALL TOGETHER.
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HOW CAN YOU GET A VOLCANO IN ICELAND. WHEN YOU THINK OF VOLCANO, YOU THINK OF HAWAII. YOU DON’T THINK OF ICELAND. YOU THINK IT’S TOO COLD TO HAVE A VOLCANO THERE. I GUESS THAT’S WHY THEY ARE
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THE MOST TRUSTED NAME IN NEWS. [LAUGHTER] LOOK, I HAVE A REPUTATION FOR GIVING CABLE A HARD TIME, SO LET’S PICK ON POLITICO FOR A WHILE. YOU KNOW, PEOPLE ATTACK POLITICO FOR PUTTING A NEW FOCUS ON TRIVIAL ISSUES, POLITICAL FODDER, GOSSIP SHEET. THAT’S NOT FAIR. POLITICO’S BEEN DOING THIS FOR CENTURIES NOW. CHECK OUT THE HEADLINES. OUR RESEARCHERS FOUND THESE. JAPAN SERNEDERS, WHERE’S THE BOUNCE? THEN THERE’S THIS ONE, LINCOLN SAVES UNION, BUT CAN HE SAVE HOUSE MAJORITY? THERE IS A LITTLE PORTION THERE. HE HAS LOST THE SOUTHERN WHITE
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VOTE. [LAUGHTER] AN ANALYSIS THERE. AND MY FAVORITE, JULY 3, 1776, SENIOR WHIG OFFICIAL, TALKS BREAK DOWN, INDEPENDENCE DEAD. SOME SO THIS IS NOTHING NEW. EVEN THOUGH THE MAINSTREAM PRESS GIVES ME A HARD TIME, I HEAR THAT I’M STILL PRETTY BIG ON TWITTER, FACEBOOK OR AS SARAH PALIN CALLS IT, THE SOCIALIZED
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MEDIA. [LAUGHTER] OF COURSE, THAT’S NOT THE ONLY THING THAT WE HAVE BEEN
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ACCUSED OF SOCIALIZING THIS YEAR. YOU MIGHT HAVE HEARD THAT WE PASSED THE HEALTH CARE BILL. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] AND WAS THAT ROGER APPLAUDING OUT THERE? SOME REPUBLICANS HAVE SUGGESTED THAT THE BILL CONTAINS A FEW SECRET PROVISIONS. AND THAT’S RIDICULOUS. THERE AREN’T A FEW SECRET PROVISIONS IN THE HEALTH CARE PLAN.
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THERE ARE LIKE HUNDREDS. [LAUGHTER] TONIGHT, IN THE INTEREST OF TRANSPARENCY, I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE A COUPLE. LET’S SEE. THIS PROVISION IS CALLED THE BAY STATE OF DENIAL. IT READS, THIS BILL SHALL COVER SHORT-TERM MEMORY LOSS RELATING TO THE PASSAGE OF MASSACHUSETTS’ HEALTH CARE REFORM. GOOD NEWS. YOUR CONDITION IS COVERED. THIS NEXT PROVISION IS CALLED THE JERSEY SHORE-UP. IT READS, THE FOLLOWING INDIVIDUALS SHALL BE EXCLUDED FROM THE INDOOR TANNING TAX WITHIN THIS BILL. SNOOKIE, JAY WOW, THE SITUATION AND HOUSE MINORITY LEADER JOHN
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BOEHNER. [LAUGHTER] [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] THIS PROVISION PUT A COMMON MISCONCEPTION TO REST. IT SAYS RIGHT HERE. IF YOU DO NOT LIKE THE RULING OF YOUR DEATH PANEL, YOU CAN
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APPEAL. [LAUGHTER] NOW, LOOK, OBVIOUSLY, I HAVE LEARNED THAT POLITICS CAN BE A TOUGH BUSINESS, BUT THERE ARE TIMES THAT YOU JUST CAN’T HELP BUT LAUGH. YOU KNOW WHAT REALLY TICKLES ME?
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ERIC MASSA. [LAUGHTER] APPARENTLY MASSA CLAIMED THAT RAHM CAME UP TO HIM ONE DAY IN THE HOUSE LOCKER ROOM STARK NAKED, STARTED SCREAMING OBJECT SEN TIES AT HIM TO WHICH I SAY,
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WELCOME TO MY WORLD. [LAUGHTER] I FEEL YA! IT’S A TENSE MOMENT. YOU KNOW, EVEN AS WE ENJOY EACH OTHER’S COMPANY TONIGHT, WE ARE ALSO MINDFUL OF THE INCREDIBLE STRUGGLES OF OUR FELLOW AMERICANS IN THE GULF COAST, BOTH THOSE LEADING THE EFFORTS TO STEM THIS CRISIS AND THOSE ALONG THE COAST WHOSE LIVELIHOODS ARE IN JEOPARDY AS A RESULT OF THE SPILL. ALSO IN OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS ARE THE MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM WHO PUT THEIR LIVES AT RISK EACH
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AND EVERY DAY FOR OUR SAFETY AND
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FREEDOM. [APPLAUSE] IN THAT SPIRIT, I WOULD ALSO PAY A TRIBUTE TO THE JOURNALISTS WHO PLAY AN EXTRAORDINARY ROLE IN TELLING THEIR STORIES. EARLIER TODAY, I GAVE THE COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS IN MICHIGAN WHERE I SPOKE TO THE GRADUATES ABOUT WHAT IS REQUIRED TO KEEP OUR DEMOCRACY THRIVING IN THE 21 CENTURY. AND ONE OF THE POINTS I MADE FOR ALL THE CHANGES AND CHALLENGES FACING YOUR INDUSTRY, THIS COUNTRY ABSOLUTELY NEEDS A HEALTHY, VIBRANT MEDIA. PROBABLY NEEDS IT MORE THAN EVER NOW. TODAY’S TECHNOLOGY HAS MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR US TO GET OUR NEWS AND INFORMATION FROM A GROWING RANGE OF SOURCES. WE CAN PICK AND CHOOSE NOT ONLY OUR PREFERRED TYPE OF MEDIA, BUT ALSO OUR PREFERRED PERSPECTIVE AND WHILE THAT EXPOSES US TO AN UNPRECEDENTED ARRAY OF OPINIONS AND POINTS OF VIEW, IT MAKES IT THAT MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THAT WE ARE OPERATING ON A COMMON BASELINE OF FACTS. IT MAKES IT THAT MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THAT JOURNALISTS OUT THERE SEEK ONLY THE TRUTH. AND I DON’T HAVE TO TELL YOU THAT. SOME OF YOU ARE SEASONNED VETERANS WHO HAVE BEEN ON THE POLITICAL BEAT FOR DECADES. OTHERS HERE TONIGHT BEGAN THEIR
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CAREERS AS BLOGGERS NOT LONG AGO. IT’S FAIR TO SAY THAT EVERY SINGLE REPORTER IN THIS ROOM BELIEVES DEEPLY IN THE ENTERPRISE OF JOURNALISM. EVERY ONE OF YOU, EVEN THE MOST CYNICAL AMONG YOU CHERISHES THE FREE PRESS AND PRESERVATION OF OUR SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT AND OUR WAY OF LIFE. I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT FOR ALL THE JOKES AND THE OCCASIONAL
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GRIPES, I CHERISH THAT WORK AS WELL. IN FACT TONIGHT, I WANTED TO PRESENT ALL OF YOU WITH A BIPARTISAN CONGRESSIONAL RESOLUTION THAT HONORS ALL THOSE WONDERFUL CONTRIBUTIONS THAT JOURNALISTS HAVE MADE TO OUR COUNTRY AND THE WORLD, BUT UNFORTUNATELY, I COULDN’T BREAK THE FILIBUSTER. THANK YOU VERY MUCH EVERYBODY. GOD BLESS YOU AND GOD BLESS THE
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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. [APPLAUSE]

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