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How Obama Has Weaponized Wit

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"Barack Obama would make a great stand-up comic, not because he's the funniest president ever but because he uses jokes the same way many of us comedians do: as a weapon.

Traditionally, the (intentionally) funny lines by our presidents have had one thing in common: They were self-deprecating. Sure, some presidents have used jokes to take jabs at their opponents, but not to the extent of Obama.

During his tenure, he has increasingly unleashed biting comedic barbs against his critics and political adversaries. These jokes are intended to do more than simply entertain you. They have an agenda.

Obama's humor is often delivered the way a comedian dealing with a heckler would do it. He tries to undermine his opponents with it and get the crowd -- in this case the public -- on his side. I can assure you that having a crowd laugh at your critic/heckler is not only effective in dominating them, it's also very satisfying."

His schtick was sharp (and so freaking funny!) last night at the White House Correspondents Dinner: 

Entering to the rap track "All I Do Is Win" by DJ Khaled, Obama joked about how re-election would allow him to unleash a radical agenda. But then he showed a picture of himself golfing on a mock magazine cover of "Senior Leisure."

"I'm not the strapping young Socialist that I used to be," the president remarked, and then recounted his recent 2-for-22 basketball shooting performance at the White House Easter Egg hunt.

His political opponents in congress come across as joyless and humorless.

Just because he's funny doesn't mean people will work with him.

Last night's WHCD videos here.  May I suggest Obama's best lines.  (Or Conan's entire;  I was literally cryin' laffin')

And then at the Alfred E. Smith Dinner in New York a few weeks before the most recent presidential election, Obama mocked Romney again: "Earlier today, I went shopping at some stores in Midtown. I understand Gov. Romney went shopping for some stores in Midtown."

And we even saw it on display again this week when Obama joked with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he was happy to be in the Middle East because it's, "good to get away from Congress." Clearly, Republican House Speaker John Boehner understood who Obama was targeting with this joke, telling CNN's Jake Tapper, "I'd rather be heckled than ignored."

You can dismiss these as simply jokes, but then you aren't grasping how political comedy works. These jokes are funny but also have a message embedded within. For example, the jokes about Romney intentionally furthered the image Obama wanted to paint of Mitt, namely that he was very wealthy and out of touch with the average person.

The change in presidential humor, I believe, can be traced to the influence of "The Daily Show." Since 1999, Jon Stewart has redefined political comedy, using it to entertain, educate and eviscerate. Obama and his joke-writers have simply embraced this style of political comedy to comically undermine critics.

Like it or not, those seeking the presidency in 2016 better do more than build a network of fundraisers and supporters. You'd better work on your comedic barbs, because American politics is becoming the country's toughest room to play.

Can you name any other politicians with a decent sense of humor? I guess Joe Biden...

Not sure about politicians, but this former Supreme Court Justice is hilarious.

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer plays our game called, "Your last album was inspired by $40,000 worth of primo hash and a disembodied spirit called Sheldon."

Oh my.

"My job is to be President. Your job is to keep me humble. Frankly, I'm doing my job better."

That was the BEST line EVER.  And the reaction sort of came in waves, until everyone fully got it.

Yes! That is a beautiful line. His writer is a genius!

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