President Obama spared no one, including himself, during his White House Correspondents Dinner speech last night (Apr. 29), but there were a few awkward moments, especially when he joked about eating dogs.
The audience seemed baffled and slightly taken aback when the president asked if they knew the difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom. “The pitbull is delicious,” he said to nervous laughter.
The joke was an apparent reference to his African heritage. Right-wing critics have mocked the president because his father was born in Kenya, where people are known to eat dog meat. He also recalled in his autobiography eating dog meat in Indonesia.
The president’s Kenyan roots gave rise to charges during his first presidential campaign that he wasn’t born in America. The president acknowledged that, too, when he opened his speech.
“Tonight, this is how I’d like to begin. My name is Barack Obama, My mother was born in Kansas. My father was born in Kenya. And, I, of course, was born in Hawaii,” he said with an obvious wink.
He had a more fun with the so-called “birther” issue right before that. “Last year at this time; in fact on this very weekend, we finally delivered justice to one of the world’s most notorious individuals.”
At that moment, on video screens in the room, an image appeared of Donald Trump, who had sworn last year to get to the bottom of the birther controversy in his abortive run for president.
The president teed up the pit bull joke with a jibe on the media that took shots at the Huffington Post for not paying writers and linking to, instead of reporting news.
“Even Sarah Palin is getting back in the game, hosting on the ‘Today Show,’ which reminds me of an old saying…” and with that he went into the pit bull joke.
Other than that, the president’s schtick was worthy of an opening monologue on “Saturday Night Live.”
He poked fun at likely GOP nominee Mitt Romney, and even his own secretary of state Hillary Clinton. “She can’t stop drunk texting me from Cartagena,” he said. The two were recently in Colombia for a summit, which provided the fodder for his closing.
I have a lot more material, he said, but “I have to get the Secret Service home in time for their new curfew.”
Check out the speech below.