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Obama Makes Jokes at Annual Dinner

U.S. President Barack Obama poked fun at himself and the political and media landscape Saturday night at the 128th annual dinner of the Gridiron Club, a Washington event that brings together the country's journalists and political elite for a night of laughs.

"My joke writers have been furloughed," the president joked at the beginning of his remarks, taking a jab at the recent automatic federal budget cuts.

Mr. Obama said new Secretary of State John Kerry has a tough act to follow in Hillary Clinton, but said it is time for Kerry "to stop showing up at work in pant suits," a staple in Clinton's wardrobe.

Another speaker was Republican Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, the slender son of immigrants from India and a party favorite to run for president. He asked "What chance does a skinny guy with a dark complexion have of being elected president?" Of course, the current president generally fits that description.

President Obama joked about the awkward gulp of water Florida Senator Marco Rubio recently took when delivering the televised Republican rebuttal to the president's State of the Union address. Mr. Obama said "our country is still facing enormous challenges," then he casually picked up a water glass, sipped, and put it back down - going on to say, "That, Marco Rubio, is how you take a sip of water."

The dinner, which features comic skits and songs, provides an opportunity for politicians and journalists to poke fun at one another.

The Gridiron Club is the oldest and one of the most exclusive organizations for Washington journalists. Membership is by invitation only.

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