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Klobuchar, a Laugh a Minute at Press Dinner

Hands down, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) was the star at last night's annual congressional press dinner, where Dick Cheney, Joe Biden and the Fourth Estate became the butt of jokes.

"This could be the first time Lou Dobbs tries to deport an entire newspaper," Klobuchar said about the potential takeover of the New York Times by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helu.

On political fundraising, the senator noted her own ability to raise $17,000 in campaign contributions from ex-boyfriends. "I know in the House that record is held by Barney Frank," she said.

John Edwards' talk of "two Americas," she said, "turned out to be the best pickup line of all time."

Throughout her shtick, Klobuchar, a rising star elected in 2006, elicited rousing laughter in the cozy audience of Washington print journalists and the politicians they cover. She even made fun of the Purple Tunnel of Doom Inauguration Day debacle in which thousands who came to witness history were instead frozen out.

"So much for Democrats being against torture," she joked.

She showed a slide presentation of her inauguration scrapbook, including a photo of Aretha Franklin in her famously fabulous, big hat. Klobuchar said it was a tough choice, but security clearly decided that rather than let another 50,000 people into the swearing-in ceremony "we'll go with the hat."

Rep. Kevin McCarthy
(R-Calif.), who's entering only his second term, had a tough act to follow but he still got in a few zingers at the event, formally known as the Washington Press Club Foundation dinner, as the chosen Republican funny man.

His best line came at the expense of Dick Cheney. The former vice president, McCarthy said, is looking forward to spending more time at home "waterboarding his grandchildren."

On Obama's short-lived health and human services nominee: "I would be remiss if I didn't thank Tom Daschle for providing tonight's limo service."

And as for the media regarding Obama as the next messiah, McCarthy said it finally clicked when Obama chose Joe Biden: "As Scripture says, the messiah is supposed to ride into town with an ass underneath him."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who gave only brief introductory remarks, brought her own jokes.

Times are so tough right now, she said, that when Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner gets a call from the New York Times he doesn't know "whether it's a press call or a request for a bailout."

And she gave away two email addresses at the White House: President Obama is "I'm all ears at White House dot com" and the potty-mouthed Rahm Emanuel's is "bleep bleep bleep at White House dot com."

By Mary Ann Akers  |  February 5, 2009; 7:15 AM ET
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ba dum boom

Posted by: staxnet | February 5, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

...and Bush rode away on his goat.

Posted by: MikeK3 | February 5, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

The Borgen Project has some good info on the cost of addressing global poverty.

$30 billion: Annual shortfall to end world hunger.
$550 billion: U.S. Defense budget

Posted by: atsegga | February 5, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

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