WASHINGTON — It’s not every year President Barack Obama addresses Washington’s annual Gridiron Club dinner, an event that brings together some of the city’s most prominent journalists and the government officials they cover.
But when he does, he goes all out, taking jabs at himself, the Republicans (unofficially) running for president, and even Hillary Clinton. Obama also had a one-liner about Bob McDonnell, the former Virginia governor sentenced to two years in prison after being convicted on 11 counts of public corruption.
“Of course, I want to acknowledge my fellow speakers tonight. Give it up for Terry McAuliffe —the Governor of Virginia and the mayor of “This Town.” Terry loves fundraising. He’s the first person who’s actually been upset to learn you can’t ask people for tons of money once you become the Governor of Virginia. Well, except maybe the previous Governor of Virginia,” Obama said.
Here are the top seven moments from Obama’s joke-filled address to the crowd of insiders:
1. Obama kicked off by setting the bar high, predicting the audience would “laugh harder than ever.”
That’s because Obama was placing his trust in something he had quite a bit of experience with in his teens.
“I’m not saying I’m any funnier. I’m saying weed is now legal in D.C.”
2. No presidential joke session is complete unless the commander-in-chief cracks a few jokes about how much he’s aged during his time in office.
“You start getting crankier as you get older. Next week, I’m signing an executive order to get off my lawn,” Obama joked, making light of the controversy over his use of executive actions.
An pointing out that “getting older changes you,” the President, who’s known for drinking tea, explained that “coffee really disagrees with me these days.”
“Which is why John Boehner just invited coffee to address the joint House,” Obama joked, less than two weeks after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Congress at Boehner’s invitation.
3. The President also poked some more fun at himself.
“Just a few years ago, I could never imagine ever being in my fifties. And when it comes to my approval ratings, I still can’t.”
4. The self-deprecation continued as Obama took a quick dive in the political scandal on the lips of everyone in Washington.
“Think about how things have changed since 2008. Back then, I was the young tech-savvy candidate of the future,” Obama said. “Now I’m yesterday’s news and Hillary has got a server in her house.”
“I didn’t even know you could have one of those in your house,” he continued. “I am so far behind. Did you know that? I would have gotten one.”
5. But where was Vice President Joe Biden? He’s always a riot.
“My vice president isn’t here tonight,” Obama explained. “He told me, ‘If I want to hear people talking for five hours straight, I’ll just stay home alone.’
The VP took some heat online recently when he stood behind the wife of Defense Secretary Ash Carter and held her shoulders.
But she’s not alone, Obama told the crowd.
“Joe rubs my shoulders, too. I just wanted everybody to know,” Obama said. “It’s not bad, it feels pretty good.”
6. Obama also took a few jabs at Wisconsin’s Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who is considering a presidential run and also took to the podium on Saturday night.
“The other week he said he didn’t know whether or not I was a Christian. And I was taken aback,” Obama said of Walker. “But fortunately my faith teaches us forgiveness. So, Governor Walker, salam alaikum.”
But wait, there’s more!
“Scott also recently punted on a question of evolution, which I do think is a problem. I absolutely believe in the theory of evolution — when it comes to gay marriage,” joked Obama, who said he had “evolved” on the issue of gay marriage when he came out in support of marriage equality.
“Gov. Walker got some heat for staying silent when Rudy Giuliani said I don’t love America — which I also think is a problem. Think about it, Scott — if I did not love America, I wouldn’t have moved here from Kenya?” Obama joked.
7. And how about a political controversy that’s angered Obama and allies this week?
Remember that letter to Iran? And that Buzzfeed video?
They collided at the Gridiron dinner:
“You know, you don’t diminish your office by taking a selfie. You do it by sending a poorly written letter to Iran,” Obama quipped.