While most people are rehashing the best jokes from the White House Correspondents’ Dinner and debating who was better—President Obama or Conan (I vote for the former)—I am still thinking about the words President Obama spoke at the end of his speech. In my opinion, these words are the highlight of the night:
“And so, these men and women should inspire all of us in this room to live up to those same standards; to be worthy of their trust; to do our jobs with the same fidelity, and the same integrity, and the same sense of purpose, and the same love of country. Because if we’re only focused on profits or ratings or polls, then we’re contributing to the cynicism that so many people feel right now.
“And so, those of us in this room tonight, we are incredibly lucky. And the fact is, we can do better—all of us. Those of us in public office, those of us in the press, those who produce entertainment for our kids, those with power, those with influence—all of us, including myself, we can strive to value those things that I suspect led most of us to do the work that we do in the first place—because we believed in something that was true, and we believed in service, and the idea that we can have a lasting, positive impact on the lives of the people around us.”
Given everything that has happened over the last few weeks, from the politics surrounding the Senate’s rejection of expanded gun background checks to the ways in which various media outlets mishandled much of the reporting from the Boston bombing, it is clear that we really can, and need to, do better. Beyond what’s been reported in the media, these words are applicable to most of our lives, whether it’s career-related or personal; we can all do better and we should strive to remember why we do what we do. If we can’t remember, then we need to re-evaluate.
As for the rest of his speech, it was hilarious. Potential side gig as a stand-up comedian? Watch it here: