Washington: With his approval rating hitting
an all-time low, US President Barack Obama has joked about it
and poked fun at his colleagues at an annual gala dinner with
White House correspondents.
Most of Obama`s jokes at the black tie dinner were
gentler, often directed at himself. He joked about his drop in
approval ratings, and in an apparent reference to the
conspiracy theory that he was born in Kenya, he noted that his
ratings were "still very high in the country of my birth."
Obama was born in Hawaii, but critics known as
"birthers" question whether he was born overseas.
"It`s been quite a year since I`ve spoken here last.
Lots of ups, lots of downs, except for my approval ratings,
which have just gone down," Obama said at yesterday`s White
House Correspondents` Association dinner, attended by some
3,000 dinner guests at the Hilton Washington.
"The only person whose ratings fell more than mine last
year is here tonight. Great to see you, Jay," he said to
comedian Jay Leno.
The latest CBS News Poll, conducted between March 29
and April 1, had found that Obama`s overall job approval
rating had fallen to an all-time low of 44 per cent, down five
points from late March. It was down 24 points since his all-
time high last April. Forty-one per cent of those polled said
they disapproved of the president`s performance.
"But that`s politics. It doesn`t bother me. Besides, I
happen to know that my approval ratings are still very high in
the country of my birth," he said jokingly.
Obama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize this year, also
said that he was disappointed that he did not win a Nobel for
The media also came in for some teasing that was both
cutting and heart-quickening for its target audience.
Referring to his poll numbers, Obama said, "I may not have the
star power I once had, but in my defence, neither do all of
you." He added that while he had done much to rescue many
industries from economic peril, there was nothing he could to
for the media. "I`m not a miracle worker."
As he did at the 2009 dinner, Obama did not spare some
of his favorite targets like Vice President Joe Biden.
Biden, who drew ridicule for whispering to Obama that
the health-care bill signing event was a "big f---ing deal."
The White House Correspondents` annual dinner, Biden told him,
was "a big f--ing meal," Obama said.
He also recalled a congressman`s account of being
accosted by a naked Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of
staff, in a shower at the gym, Obama said: "Welcome to my
world! ... It`s a tense moment."
Obama also spoofed David Axelrod, suggesting that the
senior White House adviser had recently done a "salacious"
nude photo spread for a Krispy Kreme catalogue.
Michelle Obama presented USD 132,000 in scholarships
from the association to 18 students.