Barack Obama turns 55: President's sharpest take-downs to mark his brithday

Celebrating his ultimate sass-laden responses

Kiran Moodley@kirancmoodley
Thursday 04 August 2016 09:08
Barack Obama's 7 best put downs

Barack Obama turns 55 today, his final birthday celebration while still in the White House.

With President No 44 having spent over seven years in the Oval Office and with just months left until his successor is chosen, Mr Obama may have lost some of the popularity he once had when he was catapulted into office: the images of him addressing thousands in Berlin or his historic, soaring rhetoric in Chicago's Grant Park on winning the 2008 election seem a distant memory.

Yet Mr Obama, the man who is as at ease chatting with Angela Merkel as he is dancing with Ellen DeGeneres, has not lost any of the swagger that makes him the prize president of Democrats and the scourge of Republicans.

With President No 44 celebrating birthday number 55, here are some of the best Obama take-downs during his political career:

On Kanye West running for President: 'That's cray'

Mr Obama stepped forward to proffer some advice to the rapper after he voiced his ambition for the White House, including when it comes to naming his albums.

“I do have some advice for him,” President Barack Obama said during a West Coast fundraiser featuring an appearance by the rapper. “Just some stuff that I've picked up on the way.”

“First of all, you've got to spend a lot of time dealing with some strange characters who behave like they're on a reality TV show. So you've just to be cool with that.”

“Saying that you have a 'Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy' — that's what's known as 'off-message' in politics," advised Mr Obama. "You can't say something like that. There are a lot of people who have lost their congressional seats saying things like that.”

On Hillary: 'You're likeable enough'

It's a put down that riled Hillary's supporters but one that may still haunt those in camp Clinton that worry about her route to the White House becoming sidetracked once more like in 2008. Before the New Hampshire primary following Mr Obama's shock win in Iowa in 2008, the Illinois senator said that Hillary was "likeable enough." It was the ultimate sassy description, which forced Ms Clinton to mocking reply, "Thank you. I appreciate that."

On Matt Damon: 'Disappointing in The Adjustment Bureau'

On Donald Trump: 'You fired Gary Busey... that kind of decision would keep me up at night'

Mr Trump's foray into politics has shown the real estate mogul to be unafraid of offending anyone and with a raft of ill-thought legislative ideas. Yet it was Mr Obama who first noted back in 2011 that Mr Trump had no experience in politics and would be a disaster with a brilliant line:

"We all know about your credentials and breadth of experience. For example, in an episode of Celebrity Apprentice, the men’s cooking team cooking did not impress the judges from Omaha Steaks. And there was a lot of blame to go around. But you, Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership. And so ultimately, you didn’t blame Lil’ Jon or Meatloaf. You fired Gary Busey. And these are the kind of decisions that would keep me up at night."

On Donald Trump (Part II): Trump knows a thing or two about running waterfront properties into the ground

The Republican nominee and real estate mogul has provided Mr Obama with plenty of material this year, especially at his last White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

“And there’s one area where Donald’s experience could be invaluable,” said Mr Obama. “That’s closing Guantanamo. Because Trump knows a thing or two about running waterfront properties into the ground.”

On the Republicans: 'I have no more campaigns to run...I know because I won both of them'

Mr Obama delivered his first State of the Union address in front of a Republican-controlled Congress in January 2015 - and made sure he got the upper hand with the ultimate presidential "burn".

Towards the end of the speech, the president delivered the line, "I have no more campaigns to run", eliciting at first silence in the chamber, before a smattering of sarcastic applause and jeering forced Obama to smirk at the Republicans in the room. With a straight face he ad-libbed, "I know because I won both of them".

On heckler at the White House: 'You're in my house'

Mr Obama has had his fair share of hecklers over the years but only recently did he perfect the best response to one.

Mr Obama was addressing guests in the East Room when a voice in the audience shouted "President Obama!". Mr Obama patiently replied: "Hold on, I was speaking." Undeterred, the heckler continued to interrupt, forcing Mr Obama to take a tougher approach. "Ok, you know what? No, no no, no, no, no. Listen you're in my house ... it's not respectful."

On CBS reporter: 'That's nonsense and you should know better'

Some saw the nuclear between Iran and the West as an historic pact that would lead to a new era of Middle East peace. Others saw it completely differently, including CBS News' chief White House correspondent, Major Garrett.

He asked Mr Obama, "Can you tell the country, sir, why you are content, with all the fanfare around this deal, to leave the conscience of this nation, the strength of this nation, unaccounted for in relationship to these four Americans?"

Mr Obama replied, "I've got to give you credit, Major, for how you crafted those questions. The notion that I am 'content' as I 'celebrate' with American citizens languishing in Iranian jails? Major, that's nonsense and you should know better." Hear, hear.

This article appeared in its original form here.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments