After three years of being begged, President Obama showed up at the Gridiron Club dinner Saturday night. The annual white-tie event, hosted by a small group of elite journalists, features a lot of political in-jokes, skits, and songs lyrics rewritten Weird Al-style. It's closed to cameras. Tweeting is forbidden. But here are the best jokes that managed to escape the media black hole.
Guest Alan Murray, of The Wall Street Journal, broke the social networking rules. "Unfortunately, I also can't pass on what Mitch Daniels said about riding in a middle airplane seat between Chris Christie and Haley Barbour!" he tweeted. What was the super secret hilarious joke? The Indiana governor said "Their tummies were tucked in the full upright and locked position." Ho ho ho! Luckily, it did get a little funnier than that:
President Obama, after entering the room to Hail to the Chief, turns to the band and says, "Can we go with the song we talked about?" They began playing Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A.."
Obama on addressing the 650 guests earlier than usual, at 10:20 p.m.: “I understand, however, that the bar will be open until midnight. And I hope the government will be, too.”
Obama on his former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, just elected mayor of Chicago: “You know the day I hired Rahm as my chief of staff, unemployment was under 8 percent and my approval ratings were in the 60s, so good luck Chicago.”
Daniels on the hyping of his potential run for president in 2012: "All this favorable press I've been getting . . . it's hard not to let it go to your head: 'small,' 'stiff,' 'short,' 'pale,' 'unimposing,' 'unassuming,' 'uninspiring.' . . . It's destiny!"
Daniels: "the bearded guy at Men's Wearhouse. Anyone else notice, you never see him and Wolf Blitzer in the same place at the same time?"
Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services, on Mitt Romney: "We have more in common than our hairstyles; we both used to think health-care reform would advance our careers."
Bloomberg's Al Hunt on the absence of press-loving Sen. Chuck Schumer: "It's like Charlie Sheen missing a hookers' convention."
And now, the songs, a favorite of this not-so-young group:
A fake John Boehner, to the tune of "It's My Party and I'll Cry if I Want to"
I'm trying to show them some leadership here
Some gravitas and some guts
How did I end up in bed
With all these tea party nuts?
A group of fake 2012 GOP contenders:
I've seen Huckabee at his weekly weigh-in
Sarah Palin out surveyin'
Eye of Newt and chin of Romney
Guy in drag, that's Giuliani
Mitt, he's drivin' fast and far
With man's best friend strapped to his car
Fake Howard Dean, to the tune of Bob Dylan’s “Just Like a Woman”
He looks just like a liberal
Yes he does and he writes books just like a liberal
Yes and his knee jerks just like a liberal
But he works with ... the Re-pub-li-CANS
Fake Republican congressional leaders, to the tune of "Rock Around the Clock"
We're gonna move Obama to the right
We're gonna mock mock mock his election fight
We're gonna talk, gonna talk, and then we might indict!
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.