'Pres. Obama Doesn't Have A Very Robust Sense Of Humor'

You might call it a decided understatement. Still, it was refreshing to hear a member of the White House press corps state an inconvenient truth about Pres. Obama: that he is under-supplied in the sense of humor department.

Julie Mason, White House correspondent of the Washington Examiner, offered the observation this afternoon on MSNBC. She was on to discuss the awkward situation created by the separate meetings with Pres. Obama that Hillary and Bill Clinton are having this afternoon.

When Monica Novotny asked whether PBO might take the occasion to rib her about her sharp response to the student in the Congo who asked about Bill's views, Mason offered her candid comment.

MONICA NOVOTNY: Julie, do we know any more about the relationship that the President and Secretary Clinton have developed personally, now? I'm just wondering, we heard those quotes from her last week, she was on the defensive when she thought she was being asked a question about her husband.  So I wonder if she walks into a meeting today, can he rib her about that a little bit in person?  Or do they just not go there?

JULIE MASON: Well, President Obama doesn't have like a very robust sense of humor. He's not a jokey guy.  He's not President Bush in that way. So it's hard to see the two of them having really a joshy relationship.

Mason went on to say that the pair have a very good relationship based on mutual respect.  Could be.  But spending time in those two's company wouldn't be my idea of a laff riot.

Note: speaking of senses of humor, Mason surely has one of the sunniest dispositions around.  It's rare to see her in an interview without a smile on her face and an incipient chuckle in her voice.

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.