One consistent compliment that Obama receives is the portrayal that he is a cool customer. A man very comfortable in his shoes. You could always say that Clinton was an “emotional” guy (“I feel your pain”) and likely very insecure, W ranged from very jocular and confident to downright pissy whenever challenged by a tough question (“When’s the economy going to recover? I’m not an economist.”). I don’t get that sense with Obama. And with that intro, below is an excerpt from the White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday night and I’m blown away at how well Obama delivers the one-liners. It’s just zinger after zinger nailed with the right tone.This is a presdient who has lost about 15 points in his approval rating from last year and knows full well his party is going to suffer in the election in November because of his handling of health care reform, but look at the confidence behind that podium. Obama’s part ends at minute 17, then Jay Leno picks up and the difference in performances is about as stark as it gets.
On the flip side, W could be funny as well but usually unintentionally. Only when his presidency hit the lowest of low that he couldn’t help but laugh at his troubles.
On the other hand there is Clinton, who also created many jokes rather than told them. Probably one of our smartest presidents (I’ll give Jefferson and Nixon benefit of the doubt) and equally charismatic. It’s hard to see where his sense of humor lies.