- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
Obama gets laughs at Kennedy Center Honors
Question of the Day
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama in lauding the actors, musicians and others receiving Kennedy Center Honors Sunday night, also was looking for advice.
“Everybody likes him,” Obama said of Yo-Yo Ma, one of the several artists honored. “You’ve got to give me some tips.”
Obama noted that the cellist has appeared on Sesame Street and said, “I thought about asking him to go talk to Congress.”
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was home for less than 36 hours between diplomatic travels but found time to honor the artists.
On Saturday night, between her historic visit to Myanmar and a trip to Germany to discuss Afghanistan’s future, Clinton hosted a dinner for some big names from Broadway, jazz, pop, classical music and Hollywood. Ma, Barbara Cook, Neil Diamond, Sonny Rollins and Meryl Streep also were saluted by Obama and their fellow artists with tribute performances at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
After visiting the isolated Southeast Asian country also known as Burma, Clinton said such U.S. artists have worldwide influence by using their freedom of creativity and expression.
“You may not know it, but somewhere in a little tiny room in Burma or even in North Korea, someone is desperately trying to hear you or to see you, to experience you,” Clinton told the crowd. “And if they are lucky enough to make that connection, it can literally change lives and countries.”
Entertainers who have gathered for the event include Stephen Colbert, Kevin Kline, Tracey Ullman, Anne Hathaway and others. A surprise lineup of stars will perform as part of the nation’s highest honor for those who have defined American culture through the arts.
CBS will broadcast the show on Dec. 27.
Obama said each was receiving an award, not for a single performance but a lifetime of greatness. “Just to be clear, this doesn’t mean that they’re over the hill.”
Drawing one of the loudest laughs of the evening, Obama made passing reference to Diamond’s 70s-era wardrobe, saying, “Now, his shirts aren’t as flashy as they used to be. I notice you’re buttoned up all the way to the top.”
Diamond said it’s a “great coincidence” that his work is being honored in a show hosted by Caroline Kennedy. The song “Sweet Caroline” is a story about he and his former wife, but the name is Kennedy’s, he said on the red carpet.
“I’m going to have to thank her for that,” he said.
Obama said all the honorees felt the need to express themselves and share it.
“That’s why we dance, even if, as Michelle says, I look silly doing it,” he added to laughter.
TWT Video Picks
By Mark Davis
The nation founders, the Lone Star State thrives
- Rahm Emanuel: Send illegal immigrant shelter kids to Chicago
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- CURL: Obama, staffers not even pretending any more
- Family of Marine killed in Afghanistan pushes back against cover-up
- Pentagon running out of time to find mass of missing weapons in Afghanistan
- Washington Times strikes content and marketing partnership with Redskins
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama family set to buy $4.25M desert home in California: report
- ORTEL: Note to Janet Yellen: The American bubble is popping
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq