Obama takes a dig at his feat: 'Frozen' health care

JOKES GALORE: Mr Obama turned stand-up comic at the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner.


    May 05, 2014

    Obama takes a dig at his feat: 'Frozen' health care


    IT WAS a Ctrl-Alt-Delete 2013 for the White House, President Barack Obama joked on Saturday night at a gala in Washington, one of several cracks he took at the flawed rollout of the health-care law that stands as his proudest domestic accomplishment.

    The mistake-filled launch of late last year was turned into a movie, he teased - Frozen, the Disney animated feature.

    And his comedic turn at the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner ended with a botched video and cameo from Kathleen Sebelius, the soon-to-depart Health and Human Services secretary who was called to the podium to fix it.

    "I usually start off these dinners with a few self-deprecating jokes," Mr Obama said as he began his round of quips. He then deadpanned: "After my stellar 2013, what could I possibly talk about?"

    He found a few things, though.

    The dinner has become known as Washington's "nerd prom", where Hollywood stars mingle with the DC media elite. The black-tie affair draws about 3,000 people and - while it raises money for scholarships - it more notably gives politicians and journalists a chance to make fun of themselves.

    Vice-President Joe Biden starred in a sketch video with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who plays the vice-president on HBO's Veep.

    Patrick Stewart was there, the former captain of the star ship Enterprise and leader of the X-Men, as were at least three United States presidents - Michael Gill, who plays one on Netflix's House Of Cards, Tony Goldwyn, who has a similar role on ABC's Scandal, and Mr Obama, who does the job for real.

    The dinner was held at the Washington Hilton, a hotel only a seven-minute drive from the Russian Embassy. And Russia - embroiled in the Ukraine crisis that has sparked its most contentious stand-off with the US and Europe since the Cold War - wasn't far from anyone's minds.

    Comedian Joel McHale, who followed Mr Obama at the podium, advised the President to make Russian President Vladimir Putin think he's a little bit crazy and match him, annexation for annexation.

    "He invades Crimea, you invade Cancun," McHale joked.

    Mr Obama struck a serious note towards the end of his remarks, saying: "This night really does remind us that we really are lucky to live in a country where reporters get to give a head of state a hard time every day."