A President's Duty at Reporters' Dinner: Joking

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President Bush delivers speech at Radio and Television Correspondents' Dinner

President George W. Bush pokes fun at himself and his administration during a speech at the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association dinner in Washington, March 28, 2007. Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images

Whatever else may be distracting official Washington, the springtime tuxedo dinners must go on. And a president must make jokes at his own expense.

President George W. Bush and his staff did just that at Wednesday night's Radio and TV Correspondents' Dinner.

"Well, where should I start?" President Bush asked the crowd. "A year ago, my approval rating was in the 30s, my nominee for the Supreme Court had just withdrawn, and my vice president had shot someone."

After laughter and applause, the president added, "Ah, those were the good old days."

Ultimately, President Bush's top political aide, Karl Rove, trumped his boss. The professional comics hired for the evening pulled Rove on stage, and they performed an improvised rap song.

The evening did have a serious side. The children of the late NBC News Iraq war correspondent David Bloom were there. Also in the audience was former ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff, who is back on the job, though still recovering from serious wounds suffered in Iraq.

President Bush noted the absence of Press Secretary Tony Snow, who learned just days ago that the cancer he had beaten is back, and offered support for Elizabeth Edwards — wife of Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards — whose own cancer has returned.



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