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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
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

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Telemarketers / Sales - Home Based - OTE £23,500

£19500 - £23500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced B2B Telemarketer wa...

Recruitment Genius: Showroom Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This global company are looking for two Showro...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This publishing company based i...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor