Apr 28, 2019

Trump, Clinton and Obama all speak in jam-packed night of political theater

"The After Party," by NBC News, MSNBC and Comcast NBCUniversal, at the Italian Embassy. Photo: NBC News.

Last night, the political world had something for everyone.

Driving the news: President Trump traded out the White House Correspondents' Association dinner for a rally in Green Bay, while the Clintons and former President Obama appeared at non-WHCA speaking engagements in Washington.

  • The White House Correspondents' Association dinner was boycotted by President Trump, who made administration guests cancel at the last minute. In an effort by the association to make the dinner less Hollywood-y and more of a celebration of the First Amendment, the evening concluded with a historian rather than an entertainer. "Alexander Hamilton" author Ron Chernow drew applause when he said presidents have always had differences with the press, but that "they don't need to be steeped in venom."
  • President Trump counter-programmed with a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, laced with shots at the press. Sarah Sanders strode onstage to chants of "Sarah! Sarah! Sarah!" and said in an allusion to the WHCA dinner: "Last year this night I was at a slightly different event. ... Not quite the best welcome." (NY Times)
  • Less than three miles from the WHCA dinner — at the National Museum of African American History, at a gala that's part of a year-long celebration of the centennial of Nelson Mandela's birth — President Obama spoke about the power of young people to carry forward the legacy of South Africa's liberator.
  • And less than a mile from Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton spoke at DAR Constitution Hall as part of their arena tour, which has drawn 15,000 so far.

Video: Comedy Central's Jordan Klepper made this video ("Hillary Clinton Reads the Mueller Report") as a setup to last night's appearance by the Clintons.

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