The 98th White House Correspondents Dinner took place Saturday Night at the Washington Hilton. This year the black tie affair was hosted by late night funny man Jimmy Kimmel . As expected, the event was attended by press, politicians and a horde of Hollywood celebrities. The 2012 list included presidential political opponent Newt Gingrich as well as George Clooney, Stevie Wonder, Lindsey Lohan and Claire Danes. Feminist icon Sandra Fluke was seated with Kentucky Senator Rand Paul in an amusing turn of political humor.
The seating was far from the only amusing turn at the not-so-formal yearly formal dinner. As is tradition, the President’s speech included numerous lampoons of himself and his political rivals. This year President Obama did keep it lighter and spread the humor around, much more than last year’s repeated jabs at then GOP presidential candidate and “Celebrity Apprentice” mogul Donald Trump. A suggestion to often political foe Gingrich — “Newt, there’s still time man” — got a rise from the crowd.
Other gags targeted Mitt Romney and some dog-oriented politics that had taken place earlier in the week. “Like my stepfather told me, it’s a boy eat dog world” quipped the President, in regards to the supposed “Collargate” scandal. A mild news cycle where the President was attacked politically for admitting he was fed dog meat as a boy in Indonesia in his most recent memoir. This segued directly into some fake Super PAC advertisements suggesting Obama’s socialist dog policies.
Taking aim at himself for some of the trademark self-depreciating humor America has come to expect from President Obama at the Correspondent’s Dinner he debuted a few pieces of his “secret agenda” to the star studded crowd. These included a replacement “Don’t ask, don’t tell” with new military policy “It’s Raining Men.” Additionally the President joked that he would “Win the War on Christmas” and would sing some of popular rapper “Young Jeezy” rather than his first term Al Green performance.
On a more serious note, the White House Correspondents Association also uses the annual Presidential dinner to showcase the talent internal to the organization. This year the Edgar A. Poe Memorial Award went to the Associated Press team of Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, Eileen Sullivan and Chris Hawley. The Aldo Beckman Memorial Award was given to Scott Wilson of the Washington Post. And the Merriman Smith Memorial award went to ABC News for broadcast and Policito for print journalism.