In her concluding remarks, K-Lo hit something important about these media dinners: they’re insider rituals, designed to soften up the daily tensions and make you feel like the Cream of the Washington Crop. Trust me, as a former White House reporter, most reporters rarely see the President in a personal, non-business setting, so these are a treat for most attendees. Being in the White House holding pen, standing around waiting for Official Pronouncements, is often not a glamorous job. The dinners compensate.
Watching last night, I didn’t think Bush looked like he was happy to be going through the ritual, and I thought the jokes were pretty lame. I wouldn’t grade it high, but we’re not voting for Comedian-in-Chief. I didn’t think the WMD jokes were funny, and did have backfire potential. Clinton making jokes about impeachment (and other scandals) had the same flavor.
But Kerry’s outraged response “as a veteran” is twice as lame as any of Bush’s jokes. Has Kerry never told a war joke…in his life? A Vietnam joke? How about a few months ago, when he joked that when he came back from Vietnam, John Edwards was still in diapers? Kerry should hope no one takes his anti-joke statement seriously.
PS: If you want personally insulting, unfunny correspondent-dinner remarks, these take the cake.