US President Barack Obama has long established his coolth among world political leaders. And his final address at the White House Correspondents dinner on Saturday night was a reminder of exactly that. With jokes about everyone – from Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama to, of course "the Donald" – and a sketch on his life post the White House, Obama’s speech was more stand-up comedy than statesman-like statements.
The US President walked out on to the podium to a cover of Anna Kendrick's 'cup song', You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone, saying, "You can’t say it, but you know it is true".
There were several interpretations of his speech. Vox said "the joke was that he wasn't joking" and the New York Times, that, "The president delivered his remarks with deft comic timing in a lengthy monologue that was both ironic and introspective."
No one was spared in the 30-minute speech. Not the Democratic Presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, not journalists, not Michelle. But the best jokes were, of course, reserved for the Republicans: Ted Cruz, whose vocabulary, Obama pointed out, is a little questionable, and Trump, who has significant experience with foreign policy, since "he has spent years meeting with leaders from around the world: Miss Sweden, Miss Argentina, Miss Azerbaijan."
On reporters and the media landscape, he joked, "…I also would like to acknowledge some of the award-winning reporters that we have with us here tonight. Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber. Thank you all for everything you have done. I’m just joking. As you know, Spotlight is a film, a movie about investigative journalists with the resources and the autonomy to chase down the truth and hold the powerful accountable. Best fantasy film since Star Wars."
"Look. That was maybe a cheap shot. I understand the news business is tough these days. It keeps changing all the time. Every year at this dinner somebody makes a joke about BuzzFeed, for example, changing the media landscape. And every year The Washington Post laughs a little bit less hard. Kind of a silence there."
It wasn’t all jokes though, and there was an earnest nod to good journalism, with a special reference to the The Washington Post – "there are so many of you who are pushing against those trends."
The speech ended with" "...I have just two more words to say."
Can you recall the last - any – Indian Prime Minister with a sense of humour and the sharp timing of a comic?
Watch the full speech above. And Obama’s post retirement, couch commander plans, "drinking-beer-at-11.30-and-eating-McDonald’s-burgers-while-Michelle-is-away-at-spin-class", below.