By: Siobhan McDonough, Associated Press Writer
(AP) President Bush poked fun at his staff, his Democratic challenger and himself Wednesday night at a black-tie dinner where he hobnobbed with the news media.
Bush put on a slide show, calling it the “White House Election-Year Album” at the Radio and Television Correspondents’ Association 60th annual dinner, showing himself and his staff in some decidedly unflattering poses.
There was Bush looking under furniture in a fruitless, frustrating search. “Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere,” he said.
There was Vice President Dick Cheney, a frequent butt of gentle Bush ribbing, holding his fingers a few inches apart. Bush said, “Whenever you ask him a question, he replies, ‘Let’s see what my little friend says.'”
And there was Bush again, in an odd contortion in front of his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice. He said he was trying to explain to her the foreign policy of Democratic challenger John Kerry.
Bush showed himself playing cards on Air Force One and cracked that he was on his way to an international summit and using a special deck to help him bone up on the names of the leaders he was about to meet.
His slide show segued into a somber ending, showing a group of special forces troops in Afghanistan at the site where they buried a piece of the fallen World Trade Center in commemoration of the dead from Sept. 11.
The late NBC News reporter David Bloom, who died in April from an apparent blood clot while covering the Iraq war, was remembered. His wife, Melanie, talked of her husband’s passion for journalism.
About 1,500 guests attended the dinner.