C-SPAN has posted its footage of the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association dinner, and it will air Saturday night at 8PM. Bush hits his comic peak at minute 29:30. How good was the president? Well, his opening act was some reporter getting an award for a story about maimed soldiers (what a downer!), and Bush still got laughs.
David Corn recently whipped up some gags for former presidents that try to compete with that level hilarity:
Imagine if Lyndon Johnson had joked about the trumped-up Gulf of Tonkin incident that he deceitfully used as a rationale for U.S. military action in Vietnam: "Who knew that fish had torpedoes?"
But there's a much richer history here than Corn realizes. Who can forget Lincoln's Gridiron dinner punchline: "Is there a carpenter in the house? Because I've got a house divided I'm having trouble with." Or Nixon at White House Correspondents' Dinner: "You may have heard we bombed Cambodia. It's not my fault. I told them left at Laos, left."
He really killed with that one.
MIA WMDs--For Bush, It's a Joke [The Nation]