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Sure, last night's annual White House Correspondents' Dinner honored journalists and raised money for college scholarships, but what truly mattered was the question, how mean was the "nerd prom" zing-a-thon going to be?
The answer turned out to be a little, but not line-crossingly so. The tone was edgy, light, and self-deprecatory, as President Obama kicked off the roasting by "opening" for "chaperone" Jimmy Kimmel. The room was a mixture of the Washington political establishment and random celebrities, with Kim Kardashian and Lindsay Lohan getting plenty of fish-out-of-water attention. (I'll bet that's the first and last time Zooey Deschanel and Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno are in the same room together.)
The dinner was once again held at the Washington Hilton, or, as Obama joked, "What Mitt Romney would call a little fixer-upper." As attendees enjoyed crabmeat terrine and chocolate truffles, Obama and Kimmel took jabs at just about everyone, but especially Romney. Joked Kimmel:
"When I think 'Mitt Romney,' I don't think Etch a Sketch — I think of Twister. You can't even play Monopoly with him because he keeps putting the dog on the car."
Strangely, canine humor seemed to dominate the night, with the unspoken question being, what's worse, eating dog as a child, or, as an adult, strapping your own dog to the roof of a car? Offering advice to Uggie, the dog from The Artist, Kimmel cracked, "If Romney ever asks you to go for a ride, call shotgun." And giving it to the president, Kimmel said, "Last week we learned that the president's two favorite steaks are rib-eye and seeing eye."
And they just kept hammering the theme. Obama quipped, "My stepfather always told me it's a boy-eat-dog world out there," and introduced a fake Super PAC "ad" that warned of dog "socialism." The spoof stated that "America's dogs cannot afford four more years of Obama. That is twenty-eight years for them. They need leadership now." Referencing an old Sarah Palin line, the president asked (to the mortification of the First Lady), "What's the difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull? A pitbull is delicious." And later, Kimmel inquired of Obama, "When you go to a dog park, is this the same as when we look at a tank full of lobsters?"
Heavy-set Republicans also took it on the double-chin from Kimmel, as the comedian asked, "Mr. Gingrich, how can you be against gay marriage, when you yourself are the child of a gay marriage: the Michelin Man and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man?" And taking down big game like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Kimmel told the GOP darling, "I think you're misunderstanding New Jersey's slogan. It's not the Olive Garden state."
If you missed all the fun, and wish to hear lines like, "Rick Santorum is out. It just wasn't Rick's year. Rick's year is 1954," check out the videos below.