Friday night, President Obama let guests at the Gridiron Dinner get a taste of his own special brand of humor.
No one was immune from the President’s jokes– not follow Democrats, not Republican hopefuls, and not even the press that was hosting the event. The Gridiron Dinner is a closed event for Washington’s press and political circles. Unlike the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, the event is not televised but it is kept on the record. Lucky for us, this means we got wind of some of the President’s best quips.
Greeting Mississippi’s hearty looking Gov. Haley Barbour, President Obama thanked the governor for his support of First Lady Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity campaign but then added:
“Haley, when Michelle said you should run, she didn’t mean for president.”
Ok while, he wasn’t knee tapping, side splitting funny, the President did get in some little jabs at the expense of the media for some of the ridiculous coverage of him throughout his time in office.
Poking fun at a potential 2012 GOP presidential candidate, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Obama joked:
“Tim Pawlenty’s not here, but he’s hit the campaign trail hard and to be honest, I think the American people are going to have some tough questions for Tim. Specifically, `Who are you and where do you come from?’ Which is OK. Two years into my presidency and I’m still getting those questions.”
Heading into its 126th year, the Gridiron’s Annual Dinner is one of Washington’s oldest traditions. The group, whose motto is “singe not burn,” is the capitol city’s oldest and most exclusive organization for journalists. Since 1885, every president has attended the event, with the exception of Grover Cleveland. President Obama is the 21st president to speak at the event.