Trump fails to see funny side of Obama's routine

Just in case Donald Trump's purported bid to become President of the United States looked in danger of getting serious, Barack Obama took the opportunity of the annual White House Correspondents dinner to give his putative rival a comedic skewering – with Trump in the room, stony-faced as quip after quip hit home.

President Obama flashed up a picture of a Trump White House turned into a gaudy casino-hotel, complete with a whirlpool and blonde models cavorting on the front lawn, to the raucous amusement of the nation's senior political reporters.

For all the belly laughs, there was a serious purpose. The audience consisted of just the gaggle of writers who have seemed in danger of treating Mr Trump's presidential aspirations as a credible story in the past month.

It was only last week that Mr Trump's stirring of the so-called "birther" controversy, the conspiracy theory that suggested Mr Obama was not born in the US and therefore was not eligible to inhabit the White House, prompted the administration to publish the president's long-form birth certificate.

And while Mr Obama said then that he had no time for such "silliness", there was room enough at the annual reporters' shindig in Washington to make a joke of the birthers and their insistence, in contravention of all fact and sense, that the president was born in Africa or Indonesia.

He said that Mr Trump could be proud of having forced the birth certificate into the open, so that the Trump campaign could "finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter, like did we fake the moon landing?"

Mr Trump, attending the dinner as a guest of The Washington Post, sat motionless and expressionless as the president's pounding continued. The correspondents' dinner, usually a tame affair, had not seen such a pointed and uncomfortable roasting since the comedian Stephen Colbert lambasted George W Bush as the then-president was sitting right next to him.

Mr Obama used Mr Trump less as a mere punchline, more an all-out punchbag. He belittled the mogul's claims to leadership, making jokey references to the agony of choosing who to fire as host of The Apprentice. "These are the decisions that would keep me up at night," Mr Obama said. "Well handled, sir. Well handled."

And if Mr Trump thought he could relax after the president sat down, he was mistaken: when Saturday Night Live star Seth Meyers stood to speak, it got even worse. Mr Meyers opened by noting that Mr Trump claims he is considering "running for president as a Republican. Which is surprising, because I thought he was running as a joke." By the time Mr Meyers sat down, he was.

The correspondents' dinner is always one of the hottest tickets in Washington. It isn't always a venue for a masterclass in political comedy. But this year appears to have been a classic and both Mr Obama and Mr Meyers had the audience, stuffed with celebrities and hangers-on, rocking with laughter.

But Mr Obama was ribbed, too, by Mr Meyers – and often pointedly. The comedian pointed out how the shine has come off the president and office has aged him – "Look at your hair. If your hair gets any whiter, the Tea Party is going to endorse it".

And the comedian concluded with speculation about his coming re-election campaign. "I'll tell you who could beat you: 2008 Barack Obama," he said. "You would have loved him."

Obama (and Co's) best lines

Barack Obama

No one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than The Donald. He can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter. Like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?

Seth Meyers....

Donald Trump has said he's running for president as a Republican. Which is surprising, because I thought he was running as a joke. Donald Trump owns the Miss USA pageant, which is great forRepublicans because it will streamline their search for a vice-president. Donald Trump said recently that he has a great relationship with the blacks. But unless the Blacks are a family of white people, I'll bet he's mistaken

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: This post arises as a result of the need to...

Tradewind Recruitment: Class Teacher Required ASAP In Uminster

£120 - £150 per annum: Tradewind Recruitment: I am recruiting on instruction o...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wimbledon, SW London

£24000 - £28000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wim...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore