All the people Obama just awarded Medals of Freedom to have one thing in common. They hate Trump and they did everything they could to keep him out of the White House. Well, I guess the jokes on them.
President Obama gave out his last batch of Presidential Medals of Freedom today to huge names in Hollywood, the world of sports, philanthropy and more.
For many on the list, liberals who supported Hillary Clinton, it could be their last chance for years to receive the nation’s highest civilian honor with Donald Trump heading to the White House come January.
From a podium at the White House, Obama explained that the awards are given to Americans who have ‘lifted our spirits, strengthened our union, pushed us toward progress.’
The honorees sat behind Obama as he delivered introductions that could have passed as a roast – though in coded language the president swatted at Trump, over the Muslim ban and the president-elect’s criticism of ‘Saturday Night Live.’
‘I always love doing this event. But this is a particularly impressive class,’ he said.
‘We’ve got innovators and artists, public servants, rabble rousers, athletes, renowned character actors – like the guy from Space Jam,’ Obama said.
Unlike the great actors actually getting awards – Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro and Robert Redford – the president was referring to basketball great Michael Jordan, who appeared in the ’90s partially-animated film.
Overall, Obama was giving out 21 awards, with two going to people already deceased.
His first presentation was to Bill and Melinda Gates, for their philanthropic work over the years after forming the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000.
‘First, we came close to missing out on a Bill and Melinda Gates incredible partnership because apparently Bill’s opening line was ‘do you want to go out two weeks from this coming Saturday?” the president said, shaking his head at the Microsoft great.
‘He’s good with computers, but, you know,’ Obama added. ‘Fortunately Melinda believes in second chances and the world is better for it.’
Obama moved on to those who envisioned some of the nation’s most memorable structures, cracking a joke about honoree architect Frank Gehry’s Santa Monica home, ‘which I understand caused some consternation among his neighbors.’
The president reminded the audience that Maya Lin’s idea for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial design wasn’t initially well received.
‘The project that Maya Lin designed for her college class, earned her a B+,’ Obama said. ‘And a permanent place in American history.’
‘So, all of you, B+ students out there,’ the president joked.
Obama toasted two women in STEM, the late Grace Hopper, dubbed the ”first lady of software’ and Margaret Hamilton, who created the on-board flight software for NASA.