McDonough: Obama Going Gray — Cantor Going Down

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough

photograph by Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough

Obama Chief of Staff Denis McDonough called this his “charm offensive.”

Republicans in the room may have found more offense than charm in his comedy routine at last night’s Radio and Television Correspondents’ Association Dinner at the Marquis Marriott.

Noting his boss’s recent excursions on foot around Washington and vicinity, the president’s top aide said it’s getting “frustrating” trying to keep up with Obama’s comings and goings.

“If I wanted a boss who was on his way out when nobody expected it, I would have worked for Eric Cantor. “

When he does catch up with Obama, they commiserate over their graying hair, McDonough said.

On a serious note, he praised what he called the “chorus of democracy” created by the news media.

The annual dinner provides awards, recognizing outstanding achievement in journalism.

Actor Nick Offerman provided more acid comic relief at the resigning House majority leader’s expense, saying Cantor’s loss in a primary election back home this week means “he tragically got himself a job at Fox News.”

Offerman didn’t give the fourth estate a free pass, either.

“Teddy Roosevelt was a hero of mine, ” he said, adding that the legendary president on horseback probably wouldn’t enjoy dinners like this, because “the news media speaks very loudly, but doesn’t carry big sticks.”

“Don’t worry, ” he told the crowd. “I’m being paid less than Jill Abramson (the New York Times editor fired this spring) to do this job.”

He saved his toughest lines for Time Warner and Comcast, companies on the brink of a proposed merger.

“They are the most hated companies in America,” he said about the empires that own CNN and NBC.

The people who run them are “evil,” he said.

The jury’s still out on whether he was being facetious or not.

The RTCA board members seated at the dais, some of whom work for CNN, covered their faces in embarrassment during his remarks.


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