Bush trades jokes with journalists at dinner

Sunday, May 5, 2002

WASHINGTON -- President Bush gave Washington reporters a look at "what life is really like inside the Bush White House" on Saturday, showing off his collection of "actual, never-seen-before photos."

One of the good things about life in the mansion is that his wife, Laura, is always on hand to help him out, he said displaying a photograph of the first lady standing with her hands on each side of his face.

"Here she is helping me pronounce Azerbaijani," said Bush, who is known to sometimes stumble over long words.

Bush and top members of his administration mingled and shared laughs with reporters and other Washington insiders at the annual White House Correspondents dinner.

Comedian Drew Carey was on hand to provide the entertainment during the more than three-hour event, doing standup comedy for the president and more than 1,800 guests, including top White House adviser Karl Rove and rock star Ozzy Osbourne.

Bush noted that Carey is the host of a television show that "is totally improvised."

"Drew?" the president said. "Got any interest in the Middle East?"

Dinner with Ozzy

Osbourne and his wife, Sharon, were the guests of Fox News' Greta Van Sustren. The couple and two of their three kids are stars of the MTV hit reality show, "The Osbournes," which chronicles the family's wacky, profane home life.

"The thing about Ozzy is, he's made a lot of big hit recordings -- "Party With the Animals," "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath," "Face in Hell," "Black Skies" and "Bloodbath in Paradise," said the president.

"Ozzy. Your mom loves your stuff."

The correspondents' dinner, now in its 88th year, has become an occasion for self-deprecating humor from presidents. Last year Bush presented a slide show of his family accompanied by a joke-riddled speech about the 2002 election recount.

The year before Bill Clinton put together a farewell video, in which the former president pretended to be at loose ends in the final lame-duck months of his presidency.

Honored guests included the winners of the association's annual journalism awards. Most of the winning entries were about the terrorist attacks last year in Washington, New York and Pennsylvania.

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