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Obama jabs at himself, DC's establishment

May 9, 2009 7:54:37 PM PDT
President Barack Obama poked fun at himself and the Washington establishment Saturday night.Obama spoke at the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner. He took playful digs at his frequent use of a teleprompter and Vice President Joe Biden's knack for speaking off the cuff.

Republicans were also a target. Obama joked that former Vice President Dick Cheney couldn't make the dinner because writing his memoir, "How to shoot friends and interrogate people." It was a reference to Cheney's support of harsh interrogation and his accidental shooting of a hunting companion.

Obama also turned serious and talked of the financially struggling media industry, praising journalists for holding government officials accountable.

The president wasn't the only one to tell jokes.

Tart-tongued comic Wanda Sykes, the dinner's entertainer, poked fun at Obama giving the Queen of England an iPhone during a recent visit. "What are you going to give the Pope, a Bluetooth," asked Sykes. And she questioned First Lady Michelle Obama having patted the queen on the back "like she just slid into home plant - way to go, queen!"

The $200-per-ticket dinner attracted plenty of VIPs from outside the Beltway.

Among those attending were Eva Longoria Parker, Ashton Kutcher, Christian Slater, Natalie Portman, Sting, Mariska Hargitay, Steven Spielberg and Jon Bon Jovi.

Also there were hero pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, who successfully landed his jetliner in the Hudson River without loss of life, and Richard Phillips, who was held hostage by Somali pirates after his cargo ship was attacked.

Proceeds from the dinner will help feed the hungry and fund journalism scholarships. The association will donate more than $23,000 to the charity So Others Might Eat, including money raised by skipping formal dessert for guests.

The White House Correspondents Association was formed in 1914 as a liaison between the press and the president. Every president since Calvin Coolidge has attended the dinner.

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On the Net:

White House Correspondents' Association: http://www.whca.net

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