Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Trump Isn’t the Only One Who Can’t Take a Joke

Donald Trump is catching some heat today, after he reacted badly to being mocked by President Obama at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner last night. It shouldn’t really come as a surprise that the real estate mogul can’t take a joke. People who are so delusional about their own greatness usually can’t.

Which brings us to President Obama’s comedy routine. The audience seemed to have lapped it up, but once again the president showed that he’s not great at self-deprecation. Most of his act focused on the low hanging fruit—Trump, Michele Bachmann, Fox News. But here’s the president’s brief attempt at self-mockery:

Yes, I think it is fair to say that when it comes to my presidency, the honeymoon is over. (Laughter.) For example, some people now suggest that I’m too professorial. And I’d like to address that head-on, by assigning all of you some reading that will help you draw your own conclusions. (Laughter.) Others say that I’m arrogant. But I’ve found a really great self-help tool for this: my poll numbers.

Haha! Get it? He’s professorial and arrogant. Is this seriously the hardest he can be on himself? Those aren’t even new criticisms, much less the serious complaints that many Americans have about him.

President George W. Bush was notorious for his self-deprecating humor at the White House Correspondents’ Dinners—his famous skit with his Saturday Night Live Doppelgänger is a prime example. To pull off this type of comedy, you need a canny perception of your public image, and a deep understanding of your flaws. You also need a thick skin. The Bush administration rarely responded to criticism, but the president’s acts during these dinners made it clear that he was fully aware of his reputation.

Obama’s avoidance of any serious self-deprecation can mean one of three things: (1.) He’s clueless about why his approval ratings are dropping. (2.) His staffers who helped draft the speech are unwilling to inform him of the serious complaints Americans have about him. (3.) He’s aware of his public image, but too thin-skinned to joke about it. Whatever the reason, it looks like Trump isn’t the only one who can’t take a joke.



Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.