This post’s title is not designed to drive web traffic from TMZ. No, really: President Obama has made it not only possible but necessary for me to take Ms. Swift’s name in vain as part of a quick follow-up to recent blogosphere commentary on the Obama “charm offensive” towards Congress.

To wit: this weekend’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner featured President Obama himself taking aim at Maureen Dowd’s assertions last week that his efforts at swaying legislators were pale perversions of those undertaken during the towering presidency of Andrew Shepherd.

Michael Douglas, who played Shepherd in the film The American President, was present at the dinner. Obama asked – to laughter, though with what the video shows was something of an unamused edge – “Michael, what’s your secret, man?  Could it be that you were an actor in an Aaron Sorkin liberal fantasy? Might that have something to do with it?”

Obama regained his light touch for a riff on his outreach efforts:

I know Republicans are still sorting out what happened in 2012, but one thing they all agree on is they need to do a better job reaching out to minorities.  And look, call me self-centered, but I can think of one minority they could start with.  Hello?  Think of me as a trial run, you know?  See how it goes.

If they won’t come to me, I will come to them.  Recently, I had dinner — it’s been well publicized — I had dinner with a number of the Republican senators.  And I’ll admit it wasn’t easy.  I proposed a toast — it died in committee….

My charm offensive has helped me learn some interesting things about what’s going on in Congress — it turns out, absolutely nothing.

But the point of my charm offensive is simple:  We need to make progress on some important issues.  Take the sequester.  Republicans fell in love with this thing, and now they can’t stop talking about how much they hate it.  It’s like we’re trapped in a Taylor Swift album…

The video is here (necessary if only for the photo of the future Obama library), a transcript here.

[Cross-posted at The Monkey Cage]

Andrew Rudalevige

Andrew Rudalevige is a professor of government at Bowdoin College.