We give Obama about a C+ for attitude Friday night at the 65th annual Radio and Television Correspondents' Association dinner. He just didn’t seem to want to be there. But he did get off some pretty good lines. And the way he laughs at his own jokes, Chris Rock-style, makes even the bombs funny. Here are some of his best lines, courtesy of Politico.com:
-- I want to express my appreciation for the opportunity to tell jokes that weren't funny enough for me to use when we did this five weeks ago. (Laughter.) Whatever. (Laughter.) The jokes may not be as good, but neither is the guest list. (Laughter.) I'm just joking. For me, there's no contest. Why bother hanging out with celebrities when I can spend time with the people who made me one? (Laughter.) I know where my bread is buttered.
-- I have to admit, though, it wasn't easy coming up with fresh material for this dinner. A few nights ago, I was up tossing and turning, trying to figure out exactly what to say. Finally, when I couldn't get back to sleep, I rolled over and asked Brian Williams what he thought. (Laughter and applause.)
-- It's good to see a number of hardworking correspondents here tonight. Journalists like Chuck Todd. I think I spotted Chuck over there somewhere. (Applause.) At this dinner, Chuck embodies the best of both worlds: He has the rapid-fire style of a television correspondent, and the facial hair of a radio correspondent. (Laughter.)
-- Mika Brzezinski is here, I believe, in the house. (Applause.) Mika and I have a lot in common. We both have partners named Joe who used to be in Congress and don't know when to stop talking. (Laughter.) And happening now: Wolf Blitzer is here. (Applause.) He's ... the only other man in America with his own Situation Room. (Laughter.) People assume that mine is cooler, but this is not the case. As hard as we've tried, we have not been able to generate the bandwidth necessary to turn Larry Summers into a hologram. (Laughter.)
-- Now, one person that you know could not be here tonight is Secretary Hillary Clinton. As most of you know, Hillary broke her elbow a few days ago on her way to the White House. And we all wish her a very speedy recovery. I do have to say, though, that while it's been reported as an accident, there were some suspicions. (Laughter.) Just before the incident, Secret Service spotted Richard Holbrooke spraying WD-40 -- (laughter) -- all over the driveway. (Laughter.)
-- Although I must say, the whole thing was worth it. 'Inside the Obama White House' is my favorite new show. (Laughter.) There's just something really compelling about the main character. (Laughter.) It's wonderful narrative. In fact, the show has been such a hit that all of you guys now want to come and tape one in my house. ABC is planning a series called 'Dancing with the Czars.' (Laughter.) TLC has got something called 'Jon & Kate plus Peter Orszag.'
-- Of course, given the fiscal crisis in California, these shows all will be competing directly with Governor Schwarzenegger's new reality series, 'I'm a Celebrity -- Get Me Out of Here!' (Laughter and applause.) That's how I feel tonight. (Laughter.)
-- Another difficult challenge is how to help our automakers thrive in the 21st century. We've tried a number of different approaches, and tonight, I'm announcing a new one. It's a plan passed on to me by a close friend and advisor, Oprah Winfrey. So if each of you will look under your seat, you find that -- (laughter) -- you get a car company! (Laughter.) You get a car company! And FOX -- you get AIG. (Laughter.) Enjoy!
-- Look, it's nothing personal, but this dinner conflicts with my date night. (Laughter.) I was supposed to be going out with Michelle for Thai food. In Bangkok. (Laughter and applause.)
-- Of course, most of my attention has been focused here back home. As you know, we've been working around the clock to repair our major financial institutions and our auto companies. But you probably wouldn't understand the concept of troubled industries, working as you do in the radio and television. AUDIENCE: Oooh! THE PRESIDENT: Oh -- we don't joke about that, huh? (Laughter.) That's not funny. (Laughter.)