Sunday, May 01, 2016
One More Reason I'm Going to Miss Barack Obama
I realize that many progressives don't like Barack Obama, and like to claim he was worse than George Bush or Richard Nixon.
Like some progressives in this country like to claim that Justin Trudeau is worse than Stephen Harper.
But although he was not perfect, I have always admired the first black President. I believe that despite the foul racist attacks against him, he represented his people with dignity and class.
And boy was he funny.
For in his final appearance at the White House Correspondents dinner he had a joke aimed at just about everybody.
Barack Obama has taken satirical swipes at Donald Trump and, more surprisingly, Hillary Clinton and ended his final White House correspondents’ dinner by literally dropping the mic and departing with the words: “Obama out.”
A joke about Donald Trump.
“The Republican establishment is incredulous that he is the most likely nominee,” he continued. “Incredulous! Shocking! They say Donald lacks the foreign policy experience to be president but, in fairness, he has spent years meeting with leaders from around the world. Miss Sweden. Miss Argentina. Miss Azerbaijan.”
Followed by a pointed dig at the media for having given Trump so much free publicity.
“I don’t want to spend too much time on The Donald,” he said. “Following your lead, I want to show some restraint because I think we can all agree that, from the start, he’s gotten the appropriate amount of coverage, befitting the seriousness of his candidacy. I hope y’all are proud of yourselves. The guy wanted to give his hotel business a boost and now we’re praying that Cleveland makes it through July.”
At that, Obama shook his head slightly and grunted: “Mmm, mmm, mmm. Mmm.”
A joke about Hillary Clinton.
“Here we are, my eighth and final appearance at this unique event and I am excited. If this material works well I’m going to use it at Goldman Sachs next year. Earn me some serious Tubmans,” – references to Clinton’s lucrative speeches on Wall Street and the recent decision to put the founder of the Underground Railroad on the national currency.
A joke about Justin Trudeau.
A joke about the toll his years in office have taken on him, and his reception by Prince George.
“I’m grey, grizzled, just counting down the days to my death panel.” He added: “Even some foreign leaders have been looking ahead, anticipating my departure. Last week, Prince George showed up to our meeting in his bathrobe. That was a slap in the face. A clear breach of protocol.”
But the one I enjoyed the most was the elaborate video skit called the Couch Commander.
Because it does take a great man to be able to laugh at himself, at his battle to quit smoking, and at all the foul attacks the Republicans aimed at him.
And although comedian Larry Wilmore, who had the misfortune to follow Obama, wasn't that funny. He did get this right:
“When I was a kid, I lived in a country where people couldn’t accept a black quarterback,” Wilmore said. “Now think about that. A black man was thought by his mere colour not good enough to lead a football team. And now to live in your time, Mr President, when a black man can lead the entire free world. Words alone do me no justice.
Because that's how I feel. He was a great President.
And I'm really going to miss him...
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