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“Donald Has Had A Few Tough Days Lately. You Might Call It Stormy Weather”

Joe Biden got in a few zingers at his rival Donald Trump, but he devoted a large part of his remarks to the serious threat to democracy.

“Donald has had a few tough days lately. You might call it stormy weather,” Biden quipped, referencing Trump’s current hush money trial.

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The president also riffed on reports that Trump dozed off during his trial, calling him “sleepy Don.”

“Trump’s speech was so embarrassing, the statue of Robert E. Lee surrendered again,” he said.

The president, though, devoted a large chunk to his speech to warning of the threat to the democracy and the press’s role in a free society.

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“The stakes couldn’t be higher,” Biden said. “Every single one of us has a role to play, a serious role to play, in making sure democracy endures. American democracy,” Biden said. “…In an age of disinformation, credible information people can trust is more important than ever. That makes you, and I mean it from the bottom of my heart, that makes you more important than ever.”

With a far slicker production than the WHCD has seen for several years, tonight’s gathering went fast for the laughs. Leaning into Jost’s day job, a SNL sizzle reel of POTUS’ over the decades garnered huge laughs from the well-heeled crowd.

A by-the-numbers video visit from Steve Kornaki explained how many people were in the ballroom, how how many potatoes were consumed and how much scholarship money was being handed out by the WHCA this year. It was an even bigger hit in the room than the SNL collection.

Impersonator Matt Friend had more of a mixed reception with his Trump voiced references to the man who lit himself on fire outside the former president’s NYC hush money trial earlier this month. If that joke bombed, a follow up about South Dakota Governor and potential VP pick Kristi Noem’s recent revelation of killing her dog and other animals crashed with groans from the audience.

Taking on his rematch rival Trump and his age head on from the get go, Biden got a rousing round of applause for pointing out that “age is the only thing we have in common. My vice president actually endorses me.” But in shorter than usual remarks, the president’s praise of Jost’s Weekend Update co-host Michael Che drew one of the biggest laughs of the night.

Biden also referenced the many SNL performers who have portrayed him. “Lorne is a great friend who has eight comedians play me. Who the hell says I am not a great job creator?”

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