President Barack Obama brought the house down at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner, in sharp contrast to the efforts of his predecessor:
Obama’s routine gathered pace with jokes about the rightwing press, the Bush administration and his erstwhile presidential adversary Hillary Clinton. He told the assembled journalists: “Most of you covered me. All of you voted for me.” Acknowledging dissent from one table, he hastily added: “Apologies to Fox.”
Obama also apologised for the absence of Dick Cheney, explaining that the former vice-president was hard at work on his memoirs which, he said, were provisionally entitled “How to shoot friends and interrogate people” – a reference to Cheney’s hunting mishaps and the evidence-gathering techniques of George Bush’s security services.
His swine-flu inspired shot at secretary of state Clinton, was, by comparison, relatively tame. “These days we could not be closer. In fact, the second she got back from Mexico, she pulled me into a hug and said I should go down there myself.”