The annual White House Correspondents' Dinner is coming up this Saturday night, and all the rowdy and raucous moments will be broadcast live for the world to see. The wild night that somehow manages to bring together journalists, politicians, and celebrities in one place is always a riot, and something unexpected or shocking usually ends up happening, like Stephen Colbert's 2006 speech that almost made President George W. Bush walk out of the room, or President Obama's iconic Lion King joke at the 2011 ceremony. But while the president usually keeps the tone lighthearted, some want to see him take on a more serious political topic at the White House Correspondents' Dinner — Obama's presidential endorsement.
As interesting and potentially game-changing as it would be, it doesn't seem likely that President Obama will endorse anyone at the dinner on Saturday. President Obama has been pretty adamant about not endorsing, at least officially, in this race quite yet. In January, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said during an interview on Meet The Press that President Obama would wait until the nominee had been officially chosen. However, pundits and political supporters swarmed on the president when he made a pseudo-endorsement in February.
“I will probably have an opinion on it, based on both being a candidate of hope and change and a president who’s got some nicks and cuts and bruises from getting stuff done over the last seven years," said President Obama during a press conference, showing what some thought was a preference toward Hillary Clinton's less idealistic campaign. Yet President Obama was quick to clarify that he would not offer an official endorsement."But for now, I think it’s important for Democratic voters to express themselves and for the candidates to be run through the paces.”
The voters haven't picked quite yet, and it seems likely that President Obama will stick to his word and decline to endorse before the nomination is official. At this point in the race, even though it looks like Clinton is close to locking down the nomination, it would probably be a bad move on President Obama's part to risk alienating Bernie Sanders' legion of supporters by endorsing Clinton. Plus, although it's totally acceptable for a sitting president to endorse a presidential candidate at any time, it doesn't quite seem fair for Obama to influence the election like that, especially since this cycle has been so uniquely contested.
President Obama will certainly throw his support behind the eventual nominee in the Democratic race, but his neutrality at this point seems to be important to him, so the world will just have to wait until the Democratic National Convention in July. Until then, the hopefully awesome jokes at the WHCD should keep everyone entertained.