But it helps if you have a good gag writer.
Making his final appearance as chief executive at the White House Correspondents' Association annual black-tie dinner on Saturday, President Clinton cracked jokes about what the future holds for him.
"I'm not concerned with my memoirs I'm concerned with my resume," the president said, adding that his "career objective" was "to stay president."
Mr. Clinton, entering the lame duck phase of his second term, won the most laughs with a gag video documenting his final months in office.
The film showed the president keeping busy, answering the White House phones, trading online and making brown bag lunches for his Senate-campaigning wife.
The video is popular with non-correspondents, too.
"We've been getting a lot of European requests," a CBS Newspath producer told CBSNews.com on condition of anonymity. You can view it for yourself by clicking on the link on the right.
For all the quips and banter, the dinner, attended by more than 2,500 journalists and their guests at the Washington Hilton, had its sentimental moments.
Mr. Clinton and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton have attended the dinner every year since he took office in 1993.
"I have showed up here for eight straight years. Looking back, that was probably a mistake," he said. "In just eight years I've given you enough material for 20 years."
Tonight Show host Jay Leno, who entertained the crowd, was also nostalgic.
"Believe me, there is no one sadder than I am that you're leaving," he said, adding that his Clinton jokes had brought him fame, a car and a house.
Mr. Clinton responded: "No matter how mean he is to me, I just love this guy because together, together, we give hope to gray-haired chunky baby boomers everywhere."
For one night, White House correspondents got to leave the daily grind of the press room to join if only for an evening Hollywood's version of the West Wing.
Cast members of the NBC television show, including Martin Sheen and Rob Lowe, conspired with White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart to produce a spoof episode for the event.
Sheen, Lowe and other cast members mingled with other famous faces that included supermodels, movie stars, ambassadors and cabinet members, including model Christie Brinkley and former Democratic presidential candidate Bill Bradley.
There was no hint this year of the kind of controversy that marked the 1998 event, when Insight magazine invited Paula Jones, the former state employee in Arkansas who claimed President Clinton sexually harassed her when he was state governor.
The WHCA represents the White House press corps in its dealings with the administration on such issues as access to the president and costs for press travel.
©2000 CBS Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Reuters Limited contributed to this report