Washington, April 29 (IANS) President Barack Obama turned comic for a night to poke fun at everything, from the Secret Service scandal to his top diplomat Hillary Clinton, to his likely Republican rival Mitt Romney's dog.
Obama's joke about Romney's dog Seamus at the annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner Saturday night recalled a spoof political ad that took aim at Romney for admitting he once put his family dog in a cage and perched it on the top of his car.
"I know everybody is predicting a nasty election, and thankfully, we've all agreed that families are off-limits," Obama said. "Dogs, however, are apparently fair game."
His punch line showed an ad by a phony political group that featured Romney on Air Force One with a dog cage on top of the aircraft and promoted dog freedoms, while warning of Obama's policy of dog socialism.
"Under his leadership, man's best friend has been forced into automobiles. Imagine the European-style socialism that he has planned for the next four years," the spoof ad said.
The president even poked fun at himself over recent criticism by the Romney campaign about revelations in his book, "Dreams From My Father", where he revealed he was fed dog meat as a boy in Indonesia.
"That's pretty rough. But I can take it, because my stepfather always told me, it's a boy-eat-dog world out there," Obama said.
Taking a dig at his 2008 rival turned secretary of state, he recalled: "Four years ago, I was in a brutal primary battle with Hillary Clinton. Four years later, she won't stop drunk texting me from Cartagena," a reference to the Colombian city where Secret Service agents allegedly consorted with prostitutes.
Obama also took aim at the scandal itself: "I had a lot more material prepared, but I have to get the Secret Service home in time for their new curfew."
The dinner was Obama's fourth as president. It has been a ritual in Washington since 1920, when it was first held to boost communication between the press and the president.
Louisiana's Indian American governor Bobby Jindal and his wife Supriya were among a host of celebrity attendees.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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