I really wish I had been invited to the annual Gridiron Dinner — but wasn’t.
Some people saw me sitting near the tux and white tie’d National Portrait Gallery Director Emeritus Marc Pachter yesterday late afternoon at a brilliantly irreverant and stimulating evening at the Gallery featuring film and culture cult leader John Waters sharing his views on another artistic cult leader (that’s what John Waters called him) Cy Twombly. Pachter was seriously dudded up and I was in jeans. I knew he was Gridiron bound.
I mentioned on my Twitter and Facebook accounts that I had been working hard during the day to get an advance copy of Joe Biden’s jokes but had failed so had hoped to have an agent in the room texting me the jokes. Marc Pachter was going to be that secret agent but think his batteries died.
Soooo, courtesy of Politico‘s Mike Allen, here are some of Joe Biden’s wonderful zingers. Obama was preparing for his “second coming at Easter” apparently and was the first President since Grover Cleveland to stiff the DC elite journalist crowd.
Come to think of it, we should start an elite blogger dinner and put the Gridiron out of business. . .hmm, that could be a great idea.
From Mike Allen’s “Playbook“:
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN KILLS AT GRIDIRON: “Axelrod really wanted me to do this on teleprompter — but I told him I’m much better when I wing it. … I know these evenings run long, so I’m going to be brief. Talk about the audacity of hope. … President Obama does send his greetings, though. He can’t be here tonight — because he’s busy getting ready for Easter. (Whisper) He thinks it’s about him.
“I know that no president has missed his first Gridiron since Grover Cleveland. Of course, President Cleveland really did have better things to do on a Saturday night. When he was in the White House — he was married to a 21 year old woman. … I understand these are dark days for the newspaper business, but I hate it when people say that newspapers are obsolete. That’s totally untrue. I know from firsthand experience. I recently got a puppy, and you can’t housebreak a puppy on the Internet.
“Now let’s see: we have a Republican speaker who was born in Austria, and tonight’s Democratic speaker was born in Canada. Folks, this is Lou Dobbs’ worst nightmare. … We are now two months into the Obama-Biden administration and the President and I have become extremely close. To give you an idea of how close we are, he told me that next year — maybe, just maybe — he’s going to give me his blackberry email address. … But the Obama Administration really is a good team. I am the experienced veteran. Rahm can be an enforcer. And Tim Geithner is always there when you need to borrow money. And no questions asked.
“You know, I never realized just how much power Dick Cheney had until my first day on the job. I walked into my office, and you know how the outgoing president always leaves the incoming president a note in his desk? I opened my drawer and Dick Cheney had left me Barack Obama’s birth certificate. … I now realize that we have to be extra careful when we annunciate new policy ideas to make sure they don’t look like they’re personally motivated. For example, the other day there were a whole bunch of stories about the President’s hair going gray; the next day there’s a story about a Vice President who’s trying to grow new hair, and then the day after that, the two of us come out in favor of stem cell research. That looked bad.
“I’d like to address some of the things I said: Like when I said that ‘JOBS’ is a three-letter word. I did say that. But I didn’t mean it literally. It’s like how, right now, most people think AIG is a four-letter word. … Or when I announced our stimulus package website, I was asked how you get to it: All I said was I didn’t know the website number. What I really meant to say was, ‘Ted Stevens didn’t tell me what tube the website is in.'”
More later on the serious front. . .seriously.
— Steve Clemons