President Barack Obama, the most calculatingly cool president to ever grace the Oval Office, made a big ol’ fuss last night at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner—more so even than the pair of actually brawling reporters also in attendance.
In a move that was probably rehearsed time and time again, Obama ended his cursory speech with a cursory mic drop, and the crowd went wild!!!!!
Although it immediately triggered a wave of adoring news articles, this is not the first time Obama has use this trope. He did it here with Jimmy Kimmel, slyly but with the intention of someone who knows what a fuss it will incite. His impersonator did it on “Saturday Night Live” and so did Jordan Peele on “Key and Peele” while impersonating him—though of course Obama can’t be responsible for those. Regardless, Obama has been associated with the mic drop for years, though this was his most blatant attempt at cool points yet.
The mic drop, a move that’s been used since the 1980s and 90s by rappers and comedians to signify a set or show well done, is now used by power-wielding politicians to curry public favor and admiration. “He’s so cool! He gets us!” we think, as Obama acknowledges that his staff can research popular culture memes and executes them with effortless ease. Meanwhile, out in the crowd, our memories of civilians killed in drone strikes and unauthorized international spying float away, gone before the mic hits the ground.