Opinion: Obama Not Funny at White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner

George W. Bush ‘a master’

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Joseph Curl of the Washington Times had some harsh words for President Barack Obama in an opinion piece written Sunday. He argues in the piece that the president is not funny.

Obama gave a speech at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner Saturday. The idea of the speech is for the president to make fun of himself, but Curl says the speech was “a bit uncomfortable.”

Once a year, at the dinner known as the “nerd prom,” the president drops in to deliver a short comedy bit heavy on self-deprecation. President Reagan was a master, goofing on himself as a slow-witted Hollywood rube; George H.W. Bush stepped out of his stiff regal patrician persona to paste himself with a few zingers; Bill Clinton singed himself with zest after his affair with a White House intern.

And George W. Bush was, frankly, a master. Derided like Reagan as a slow-witted rube, but this time from Texas, Mr. Bush once brought an impersonator on stage to mock him nonstop, for everything from his marble-mouthed delivery to his low approval rating. Mastery. Brilliant.

But Mr. Obama each year proves he just isn’t man enough to point his super-intellect at himself. Sure, he almost always delivers a self-burn or two at the outset, but he always goes on a scorched-earth campaign after that, viciously ripping any and all critics who have taken him on.

Rather than making fun of himself, the president chose instead to mock Republican politicians such as former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and Sen. Ted Cruz.

Mr. Obama knows that the highly partisan crowd at the annual event will eat up his vindictive diatribe against the Republican Party, and each year, it does. So every year, Mr. Obama makes it all just a bit more vicious. Still, that seems to be exactly the problem: A man who can’t laugh at himself is a man devoid of humor, and nearly always, bitter, petty and small.