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Will Obama Attend The Correspondents' Dinner?

by Jenn Rose

Throughout President Obama's eight years in office, much of the American public came to look forward to the end of April with a level of anticipation usually reserved for a movie premiere. For 20 minutes a year, the leader of the free world turned into a brilliant comedian. And with this year's guest list still under wraps, one has to wonder, if President Obama attend the White House Correspondents’ Dinner this year. White House Correspondents’ Association President Jeff Mason hinted at "a couple of surprises," according to The Hill, and that certainly would be a good one.

It would also be nice to have some president in attendance, since the current one won't be there. In February, President Donald Trump announced via tweet (of course) that he planned to eschew the traditional evening with "the enemy of the American People," aka the media. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told George Stephanopoulos at that time that Trump planned to "spend the night focused on what he can do to help better America," per The Washington Post. Trump will instead hold a rally at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg. "The reasoning for the rally or topics of discussion were not immediately clear," according to Lancaster Online, but maybe he just didn't want to sit at home alone while everyone else was partying all over town.

Obama's Correspondents' Dinners were so good. They attracted star-studded audiences, his jokes were on point, and after the last 100 days, doesn't the American public deserve a little treat? Remember the "birth video" that was actually a clip of The Lion King? Remember Luther, the anger translator? And all the times he made fun of John Boehner for being orange? Any journalist with a ticket to the dinner could theoretically bring Obama as a guest. Even if he just sat in the audience and politely nodded at the jokes, it would probably be an improvement.

And it also wouldn't be all that unusual, since Trump attended two dinners while Obama was in office. The first time, in 2011, Obama savaged him in his monologue for his role in the "birther" craze and his "credentials and breadth of experience" as the host of Celebrity Apprentice before Seth Meyers took over for further roasting. Incredibly, Trump had the courage to return four years later, but by this time, Obama didn't appear to want to waste much of his breath on him. His presence warranted only one line: "Donald Trump is here. Still." And yet this year, Trump won't show his face. Wouldn't Obama taking his place be the ultimate burn?