That’s why, for the last two years, he’s broken with the traditions of the POTUS’s speech at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner and zinged his enemies, not himself and his (ahem) comrades.
Or maybe it’s just because he’s a jerk.
You know it’s bad when even the Washington Post is noticing:
Except for a mild joke pegged to his falling approval ratings, Obama mostly spared Obama during his 14-minute stand-up routine. Palin, he said, calls Twitter and Facebook “the socialized media.” He dubbed Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican Party, “the Notorious G.O.P.” The newly enacted health-care law, the president joked, has “hundreds” of secret provisions, such as one covering people in Massachusetts who’ve suffered “short-term memory loss” about the state’s own efforts to reform health care. “So good news, Mitt!” Obama said of Republican critic and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. “Your condition is covered!”…
“With these dinners you want the audience to like you more when you sit down than when you stood up,” says Landon Parvin, an author and speechwriter for politicians in both parties, and a gag writer for three Republican presidents (Reagan and Bushes I and II). “Something in [Obama's] humor didn’t do that,” he said Sunday…
During his first term, George W. Bush did a bit in which he explained what he really wanted to say on the many occasions when he mangled his words. On another occasion, White House speechwriters hired a Bush look-alike to exchange snappy banter with the real deal. One of Bush’s best-received performances was the one in which Laura Bush interrupted his remarks to offer her own comic take on her husband. “We never had a sense that those evenings were for settling scores,” says Parvin.
If it weren’t for settling scores, Obama wouldn’t have anything to do all day. You know why it took him so long to react to the Gulf Coast oil spill? Because it didn’t criticize him.
Here’s his speech and Leno’s, if you don’t have anything better to do:
Previously: Transcript of Obama’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner Speech from an Alternate Universe Where He’s Capable of Making Fun of Himself and Not Just Taking Thinly Veiled Shots at His Detractors
P.S. Cassandra at Villainous Company points out that the title of the WaPo story keeps changing. From:
Obama, leaving the “self” out of self-deprecation
Obama’s edgy humor aims barbs at everyone but himself
For Obama, a changed tone in presidential humor
Why be direct and accurate when you can be bland and unobtrusive? You certainly wouldn’t want people reading the story.