Obama took the occasion of his first second-term White House Correspondents’ Dinner to reflect on his the process of growing older in office: “These days I look in the mirror and I admit: I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist I used to be,” he joked.
Obama peppered his speech with pop-culture references, beginning by calling attention to his new entrance music: DJ Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win.” “Rush Limbaugh warned you about this – second term, baby?” he said. “We’re changing things around here a little bit.” Regarding Jay-Z and Beyonce’s recent controversial trip to Cuba, Obama quipped, “It’s unbelievable. I’ve got 99 problems and now Jay Z’s one.” Talking about the sequester: “Republicans fell in love with this thing, and now they can’t stop talking about how much they hate it. It’s like we’re trapped in a Taylor Swift album.”
Toward the end of the speech, Obama acknowledged the presence of Steven Speilberg and Daniel Day Lewis in the audience, and saluted their work on Lincoln. He then introduced a behind-the-scenes trailer for Spielberg’s new project, Obama, featuring Daniel Day Lewis as the president (played in the trailer by Obama as Daniel Day Lewis as Obama) and Tracy Morgan as Joe Biden.
Obama was followed by the evening’s host, Conan O’Brien, who was making his second appearance in the role, after first hosting 18 years ago. Introducing the late night host and talking about the decision to give him the gig, Obama joked about O’Brien’s recent career dramas: “Do you offer it to him now, or then wait five years and then give it to Jimmy Fallon? That was a little harsh.”