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Throughout the monologue, the 2,500 people in the Washington Hilton howled their approval at the over-the-top attacks. Later, when comedian Joel McHale made a Nancy Pelosi joke, there were only groans.

But Mr. Obama knows that the highly partisan crowd at the annual event will eat up his vindictive diatribe against the Republican Party, and each year, it does. So every year, Mr. Obama makes it all just a bit more vicious. Still, that seems to be exactly the problem: A man who can’t laugh at himself is a man devoid of humor, and nearly always, bitter, petty and small.

Like Barack Obama.

Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at josephcurl@gmail.com and on Twitter @josephcurl.