Comedian-in-Chief comes out at Alfalfa Dinner
President Barack Obama met with former President George H.W. Bush and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in the Oval Office, Jan. 27, 2012. The Bushes were in Washington to attend the Alfalfa Club dinner.
January 29th, 2012
01:48 PM ET

Comedian-in-Chief comes out at Alfalfa Dinner

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama poked fun at himself Saturday night while delivering a joke-filled monologue at the Alfalfa Club’s annual dinner in Washington. “It is great to be here tonight, because I have about 45 more minutes on the State of the Union that I’d like to deliver tonight,” Obama announced to the crowd of Washington insiders, politicians and business elite.

The exclusive black-tie dinner was closed to press coverage, but the White House released some excerpts of the President's remarks.

The Alfalfa Club, one of Washington’s more unusual social organizations, exists only for the purpose of holding a satire-filled dinner every January. The club consists of approximately 200 members, including past presidents - and possibly future ones.

One dinner tradition is to nominate a future presidential candidate, although none of this year’s Republican hopefuls were reported to be in attendance. President Obama remarked, “It is great to see Jeb Bush, who is accepting a nomination for President tonight. I have to say, though, it's not fair to tease your friends like that.”

This year’s dinner was only the second time Obama has attended as president. He joked about the club’s exclusive reputation. “You've heard it from the pundits: 'Obama is cloistered in the White House.' 'He's aloof.' 'He's in the bubble.' 'He's not connecting.' And that’s why one of my big goals this year was to get out and be among everyday, ordinary Americans - like the men and women of the Alfalfa Club."

Ironically, outside the hotel where the dinner took place, Occupy DC demonstrators were protesting against the elite nature of the event.

Back inside, the president aimed some barbs at his political opponents, teasing Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner. “It is good to see you at the head table. I know how badly Eric Cantor wanted your seat. But, John, I want you to know: I am eager to work with members of Congress to be entertaining tonight. But if Congress is unwilling to cooperate, I will be funny without them.”

Obama has been reported to have a good sense of humor in private settings. Displaying a bit of self-deprecating humor Saturday, he quipped to the crowd, “At least my harshest critics can agree I have a promising future - as an Al Green impersonator."

soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. AMERICA 1st

    If nobama truly wants to be a comedian, whitewash it and have it sing MAMMY at the apollo. thatd be an excellent comedy show!

    January 29, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • no needs

      Yep...and the hate for the President is his policies not his color...

      January 29, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • more than you

      AMERICA 1st<- your just a Dick.

      January 29, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Deborah

      Oh my goodness AMERICA 1st. Is it possible for you to tell a joke without making it about our President bieng a black manl? Get a grip, this type of behavior is exactly what will get Pres. Obama another term. Because there are not as many of you in AMERICA as you think there are. I would ask you to stop it, but I'd rather see Obama spank you guys in Nov. So keep up the good work!!

      January 29, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Ellen

      What an ignorant, racist comment!

      January 29, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • jean2009

      I hope this racist comment is not missed by C-Lo.

      January 29, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
      • Steveo

        It is not missed by me either! Simple ignorance that add nothing to honest debate! I don't deny the hatred exists, I never did! I have no issue with anyone calling out America 1st and others like him/her or anyone else that spews out trash! Just remember there are those of us with honest questions, disagreements and issues! I do tire of the left blanketing all of us because of ignorant and racist statements like the one above!. I know we disagree about most issues just not this one!

        January 29, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
      • NOvember 2012 want hate mention President Bushes that's hate! obama has done all he possible can to feed the hate Bush crowd and still does when he can get something out of it, now that's hate...but to knot heads like you it is some of you it's ok BECAUSE HE IS BLACK(O'Barry)...admit it!

        January 30, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
      • Steveo

        NOvember 2012,

        Are you seriously defending America First? I am not a liberal but right is right and wrong is wrong. America First is wrong and if you are defending what he/she said, so are you! There are some smart people here who can defend what they bellieve even though I don't agree with them and then there are those who cannot debate or defend an idea so they resort to ignorance and racial remarks (BOTH LEFT AND RIGHT).

        I have stated over and over again BOTH sides are the problem! If you are defendng ignorant and racist remarks, then you too are apart of the problem!

        January 30, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
      • Trace


        You are about to be mistaken for a moderate conservative...someone I would appreciate arguing the true issues concerning this country. Its nice to have intellect across the political divide. Because solutions come from those who can discuss differences without being disagreeable.

        Good luck with being accepted by many of the others in your party. I fear you will eventually have to come on over to where intellect and civility is common place. As you can see; America 1st and November 2012 would refer to anyone supporting the duly elected president as, the hateful libruls, socialists, communists, muslim, welfare lazy, N-word loving radicals.....sorry, I just can't stomach these people, are on a mission to accomplish civility from a primitive bunch of neanderthals. And don't worry; I'm not insulting them because they don't know the meaning of these words.

        January 30, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
      • Steveo


        I am more than willing to address and discuss issues but I have a difficult time dealing with people who always make this an issue of race. Even honest disgareement has been labled as racist from the left. From the right you have the usual suspects that make everything personal and racial! I don't identify myself with either side! Sorry but that's me. I think I have been fairly consistant in that.

        I am one that still believes right and right and wrong is wrong no matter from what side! America 1st was wrong and anyone defending that post is equally wrong! Politics is an emotional topic anyway and I have no problem with that. I do however take issue with those who are all emotion and no thought (I have seen it from both sides)!

        You're right, the right does not welcome moderates! Neither does the left (remember the Blue dogs)? We keep labeling and boxing people in. I will stay an indy and will glady continue to discuss and vote on issues whether they are Ds or Rs! We won't always agree but that's OK!

        January 31, 2012 at 10:21 am |
      • Trace

        Honestly Steveo, I applaud what you would LIKE TO DO...but buddy, IT AINT HAPPENING. The majority of those that agree with you on conservative principles, are unreasonable and unable to argue best practices, best approaches or policy ideology. Instead, they have reverted to high school name calling because, quite honestly none of their arguments are based on facts, only lies and mis-truths. And to top it all of, the only moderates for the conservative party, the intelligent ones, the honorable ones (like you and C-Lo) have all run for the hills in utter embarassment; never to see them again. Its obvious are a lonely pilgram in a foreign land. You are surrounded by non-thinking idiots as your compadre's for the conservative movement. I do not envy you.

        January 31, 2012 at 10:32 am |
      • Steveo


        I think you missed my point. There are non-thinkers on both sides! I have read where people have raved over how handsome they believe president is. I guess that's all good but what does that have to do with policy? How does that help make America better? Non-thinkers are the first to bring up race even when there is honest disagreement! Both sides suffer from the same malfunction! I will always believe until I see signs proving otherwise and right now, those signs don't exist!

        January 31, 2012 at 10:55 am |
      • C-Lo

        Well, Jean, that was pointed, not really sure why. But yes, I did almost miss it but decided to check in on the insanity here to make the insanity of my job feel a little more sane!

        To be fair, Jean, I have outright said that there are racists around, and I think some of the comments are mearly trolls to get feathers ruffled. America 1st, while the comment was outright racial, is probably laughing his arse off at all of the anger s/he has invoked. As a matter of fact, how do you know it's not a Soros plant trying to bring discredit to the other side? Several of us have lamented that there is no accountability for ruses like this here, which is why I try to ignore them rather than encourage it.

        That being said...
        @ Trace–I think the majority of the GOP is actually a lot more like Steveo and I–relatively moderate (the silent majority) as is the same with many on the moderate left. Our "voices" are too often drowned out by the vocal minority. Witness the way OWS, originally looking for sanity and responsibility to come back to wall street, has been taken over by semi-radicals and has lost it's voice and impact, not unlike the original Tea Party who was simply originally looking for sanity and responsibility to come back to govt. But, as is human nature and the inability to look away from a train wreck, we focus on the negative messages, even when, or especially when, they are in the minority.

        January 31, 2012 at 11:23 am |
      • C-Lo

        Additionally Trace, we see ad-nauseum any and all skeletons in the closets of the GOP candidates. Can you tell me why these are daily in our face (Newt & Cain's infidelity, Romney making a fortune through legitimate business (and why is this a skeleton?) pamphlets distributed decades ago with Paul's name, not blessing) but Obama's association with a domestic terrorist, long term attendance at a church with a radical pastor, not fulfilling a full term as senator (remember this was a weakness of Pailin) all swept under the rug?

        I'm not asking for answers or dismissing the GOP's faults, but wondering about the objectivity. Please tell me what I am missing.

        January 31, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • lorne

      You sir are a racist who can't even stand seeing the President relaxing at this annual event and poking fun at both himself and the Republicans present without your ignorantl remarks here. Oh well you don't have to sign your name but it's probably Mr. Troll.

      January 29, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • Anvil of Reality

      Newt, buddy, stop wasting time on the internet. You have a campaign to run.

      January 29, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • lisa2010

      get off that racist remarks, it stinks, and you're way back of your times...

      January 30, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • tnwoman1948

      @America 1st:

      Your kind are really getting BOLD! You don't even try to hide your RACISM any more. I don't know which is worse, hiding UNDER your rocks or SLITHERING from under them!

      January 30, 2012 at 9:21 am |
      • NOvember 2012

        and I suppose obama is not racist...ah he is when it serves you are when it serves you!

        January 30, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • asdf

      its funny that morons like you and comments like that are the reason most independents are scared to death of the GOP. You are essentially guaranteeing an Obama win in Nov.

      January 30, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • jean2009

      Obviously your real name should be: America-Last

      January 30, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • NOvember 2012

      oh my you mentioned his much celebrated (and used) race as a funny...shame on you. Barack used this event to make a political statement...shows up twice in three feed his ego and slame his enemy's. Just a little too obvious and despirate.

      January 30, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
      • Trace

        While growing up, did you ever have a friend that was African American or some would say Black? Really such anger towards a race of people in every post is not healthy. Black folks are not the evil monsters you and America "dead last" would make them out to be. You both need to come out the Jim Crow mentality. This country will not be returning to those days. Have a Nice Day- OK?

        January 31, 2012 at 10:38 am |
  2. Name*intellect first

    Oh my what a sad little person you are.......
    We are living in the 21st century dear, not 1950's Mississippi.

    January 29, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  3. Greg

    At one point his former neighbor from Chicago, Officer Carl Winslow commented about the failing economy, to which the President asked, "Did I do that?"

    January 29, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • jean2009

      Great question....the answer No he didn't.

      January 29, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
      • NOvember 2012

        really...where are the jobs? Where is the hope? Why are only one in seven new jobs created by American enterprise US jobs? How many plants has GM opened in the last three years overseas...with American taxpayer funds? This president is a political oportunist as not seen since LBJ....he sticks it to us and makes some of you LOVE it.

        January 30, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  4. mongopoo

    Doesn't look like Bush Sr. will be jumping out of airplanes anytime soon.

    January 29, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • jw

      yup, getting old sucks

      January 31, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
      • Steveo

        Not if you recognize what the alternative is!

        January 31, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  5. Deborah

    Oh my goodness AMERICA 1st. Is it possible for you to tell a joke without making it about our President bieng a black manl? Get a grip, this type of behavior is exactly what will get Pres. Obama another term. Because there are not as many of you in AMERICA as you think there are. I would ask you to stop it, but I'd rather see Obama spank you guys in Nov. So keep up the good work!!

    January 29, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  6. george of the jungle

    America 1st Your remarks are most unAmerican . Nice to see the president can joke about himself. And after hearing him sing he seems to have a talent for it. Im surprised more republicans did't comment at the dinner. They are some of the best clowns around

    January 29, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Deborah

      LOL! Yes, like the clown with the tears rolling down its face. When one takes themself so serious, they tend to have a twisted sense of humor towards others, never themselves.

      January 29, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • jean2009

      Oow...Clowns? Did you do mean scary GOP clowns?

      January 29, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
  7. Jonathan Davis

    Why is George H W Bush in a wheelchair?

    January 29, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • jean2009

      He has a disease which is similar to Parkinson's.

      January 30, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
  8. Ann

    That is why on a personal level this President is so well liked. He understands modern American pop culture in a big way. The other GOP candidates are stuffy, stiff and stuck in the dark ages and probably don't even know who Al Green is. Proof in point pay attention to the ages of the people who come out to hear them speak on the campaign trail, they are mostly very old folks who cannot deal with the reality of modern America and appear to want to turn the country back to the time of their youth. They are the ones who are holding the current congress hostage with their old ideas.

    January 29, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
  9. canuhereme


    January 29, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • jw

      if there is nothing to post......why did you post? lol could stop myself..

      January 31, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  10. tew

    Republicans are all about doom and gloom. Scare tatics are a sign that they are running scared. Preibus and his comment today comparing the Prez to the Jacka$$ cruise ship captain and the idiot poster who made the minstrial comment. Prez Obama is one of the best Presidents the U.S. has had. GOP is furious because he makes them look bad. The GOP will sink the ship befoe they admit this Prez is on the right track

    January 30, 2012 at 12:37 am |
  11. george of the jungle

    The more name calling the more racial slurs and lies or remarks made about the first lady or the presidents family the less likely the chances of a repo party win in November. We are just sick of your stupid racist un christian remarks and will show you in the polling booth. The uglier the politics the more we gravitate to the only adult running. So much for christian values

    January 30, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • jw

      George, i do believe some of the posters have devolved into comentary one-upman-ship.

      January 31, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  12. jean2009

    Preibus another GOP idiot that wouldn't know the truth if it hit him on the head. As for honesty, for the GOP honesty must be a foreign trait. Prebius can't even be honest that it was George W. Bush ran the ship of state aground.
    Obama-Biden 2012!

    January 30, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  13. NOvember 2012

    I noticed mz obama had a $50,000.00 spending spree at Agent Provocateur, closed down part of Madison Ave for it. I thought she shopped at Target (with the media's cameras rolling and her entourage). hahaha Are the obamas getting over confident and letting their guard down or are they aware they are about finished? I think they know the obama experiment is over.

    January 30, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  14. NOvember 2012

    Again obama turns this into a political statement....yes Barry (or who ever your are) you turn events to your own narcissistic needs...AS YOU DID WITH GOV BREWER...and you got spanked for it. You ARE stiff, cold eyed, and mechanical... facts are facts...

    January 30, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  15. NOvember 2012

    Oh the Occupy crowd is out side "protesting the elitenes of the event". No kidding.

    Did you see where Mz obama had a $50,000.00 shopping spree at Agent Provocateur on Madison Ave..? Yeah she closed down part of the avenue...the usual trafic jams and detours for the working New Yorkers... NOW...THAT IS ELITENESS folks. But we usually se her (with media entourage and cameras) shopping Target...hahaha

    These people are the most media contrived personna (presidency) since JFK... a vote for obama is a vote for..what? What are they?

    January 30, 2012 at 2:38 pm |