President Obama Cracks Wise at Gridiron Dinner


Wish there was vid.

President Obama got the Marine Band to give him a special musical introduction at the Gridiron Club's annual dinner on Saturday night. After the traditional “Hail to the Chief,” Gunnery Sgt. Kevin Bennear sprang to the stage and as the band struck up the familiar chords of Bruce Springsteen’s anthem, belted out:

“Born in the U-S-A! Born in the U-S-A!”

“Some things just bear repeating,” said Obama, as an audience of more than 600 government officials and media executives broke up at the allusion to the long-running rumors over the president’s birth certificate.

Obama’s speech, a series of jokes about himself and his political rivals, capped an evening of song and satire at the 126th Gridiron dinner, an evening in which Washington political reporters don outlandish costumes to lampoon the politicians they cover at a white-tie banquet with many of the targets in attendance.


Obama thanked Barbour, who has joked about his less-than-svelte physique, for supporting first lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign to promote exercise for children, but added: “When Michelle said you need to run, she didn’t mean for president.”

Running through the Republican field, he said that he’s “a little biased toward my dear, dear, dear friend Jon Huntsman.” Utah’s former Republican governor, who accepted a post as Obama’s ambassador to China, is stepping down next month to explore a run for president. Obama joked about his own plans to sabotage that. “He is truly the yin to my yang, and I am going to make sure every primary voter knows it,” Obama laughed.

He also kidded Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, suggesting that his 2008 Democratic presidential rival’s advocacy in the Middle East for regime change has gone a little too far. “These past few weeks, it’s been difficult to sleep with Hillary out there on Pennsylvania Avenue, shouting and throwing rocks the the windows,” Obama said.

  • Nate Roth

    I don't think Bruce would mind.