Barack Obama References Jay-Z + Taylor Swift in White House Correspondents Dinner Speech
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The annual White House Correspondents Dinner offers an opportunity for comedy’s best and brightest to roast our nation’s most powerful politicians with their targets in the room — and gives those same political leaders a chance to demonstrate their own sense of humor. On Saturday (April 27), Conan O’Brien got most of the laughs as the 2013 dinner’s emcee, but President Obama got in a few solid quips of his own.
The highlights from the evening (embedded above) included the President namedropping a couple of pop culture’s most famous names, starting with hip-hop kingpin Jay-Z — whose recent anniversary trip to Cuba with Beyonce ended up causing a bit of trouble for Obama.
“Yes, maybe I have lost a step, but some things are out of my control,” quipped the Commander-in-Chief. “For example, this whole controversy about Jay-Z going to Cuba. It’s unbelievable. I’ve got 99 problems, but now Jay-Z is one.”
And speaking of losing a step, Obama went on to joke about his strained relationship with the Republicans in Congress, comparing it to a certain pop singer’s penchant for breakup songs.
“My charm offensive has helped me learn some interesting thing about what’s going on in Congress — turns out, absolutely nothing,” he chuckled. “But the point of my charm offensive is simple: We need to make progress on some important issues. Take the sequester. Republicans fell in love with this thing, and now they can’t stop talking about how much they hate it. It’s like we’re trapped in a Taylor Swift album.”
Of course, politics being what they are, not everyone was happy with the President’s performance, but he seemed pretty relaxed up there — and unlike certain Correspondents Dinners from years past, the overall vibe was fairly friendly. That’s a step in the right direction for Washington, right?