- The Washington Times - Monday, March 22, 2010

Former President Bill Clinton poked fun at Republicans, Democrats, his own health and his audience of reporters Saturday night, telling the Gridiron Club’s annual dinner he was there because “I really didn’t have anything much better to do tonight.”

Mr. Clinton, who stood in for President Obama, said Democrats are going to pass health care.

“It may not happen in my lifetime, or Dick Cheney’s, but hopefully by Easter,” he said referring to his and the former to vice president’s heart ailments.

Mr. Obama, who was preparing for Sunday’s House vote on health care reform, spoke to the dinner via videotape, saying that when he called Mr. Clinton to stand in for him, the former president said, “Let me clear my schedule for the next three years.”

The dinner marked the 125th annual gathering of the Gridiron Club, whose members include Washington-based reporters.

In another reference to his health, Mr. Clinton said his favorite cocktail now was “Lipitor on the rocks,” referring to the widely-prescribed cholesterol-lowering medicine.

He said that when Mr. Obama appeared recently on Fox News the president was “keeping his word about meeting with hostile leaders without preconditions.”

In a poke at Mr. Obama’s combative chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, the former president said, “I found Rahm. I created him. I made him what he is today. I am so sorry.”

In the 1990s, Mr. Emanuel worked in Mr. Clinton’s White House.

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