May 3, 2011

More relevant than we knew: President Obama’s Trump, Meyers’s bin Laden jokes Saturday. ~ Harris Mercer

On Saturday night, as U.S. Navy SEALs prepared to helicopter into Pakistan and attempt to kill the world’s most wanted terrorist, the man who had ordered them there had other duties: he was playing comedian.

Barack Obama was attending the annual White House Correspondents Dinner, where he gave a high-profile roast of Donald Trump. At Talking Points Memo, Josh Marshall made a great point: now that we know today what Obama knew then, we can guess at what might have been on his mind as he strongly suggested that Trump wasn’t ready for the burdens of the presidency:

I thought back to this moment at the President’s speech at the White House correspondents dinner Saturday night when he mocked Donald Trump for the gut-check decision to fire Gary Busey in an episode of Celebrity Apprentice:

…You, Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership. And so ultimately, you didn’t blame Lil’ Jon or Meatloaf. (Laughter.) You fired Gary Busey. (Laughter.)

And these are the kind of decisions that would keep me up at night. (Laughter and applause.) Well handled, sir.

We know now that Obama had just signed off on the what would likely be the most consequential and high-stakes decision of his presidency and knew a commando team would be going into action in a matter of hours in the suburbs of Islamabad. …I’d give a lot to know the swirl of thoughts that were in President Obama’s head when he ran through those lines.

So would I.

But Obama didn’t just have to joke around about the decisions that weighed on him right after making possibly the biggest of his life.

He also sat through a joke about where bin Laden could be—at the very moment he knew what might be happening soon somewhere in Pakistan. Here’s his face at that instant:

Photo: New York Observer

And here’s the video, of Seth Myers of Saturday Night Live (who absolutely killed—and nailed Trump), the comedian who performed at this year’s dinner on Saturday, followed by Obama’s reaction:

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