Former President Bill Clinton poked fun at his ex-veep Saturday, telling the Gridiron Club's annual dinner that he was speaking on the night before the start of spring, "otherwise known to Al Gore as proof of global warming."
Clinton also made fun of Republicans, his White House successors, his own health and his audience of reporters, saying he was there because "I really didn't have anything much better to do tonight."
Clinton, who stood in for President Obama, said Democrats are going to pass health care.
"It may not happen in my lifetime, or Dick Cheney's, but hopefully by Easter," he said referring to his and the former vice president's heart ailments.
Obama, who's preparing for Sunday's probable House vote on health care reform, spoke to the dinner via videotape, saying that when he called Clinton to stand in for him, the former president said, "Let me clear my schedule for the next three years."
Clinton said Obama told him he was busy in the White House "polishing up his Nobel Peace Prize." Obama, he joked, asked: "You've got one of these, don't you?" -- a joke rooted in reports Clinton is unhappy that the current president got a Nobel Prize after only months in office while Clinton failed to be awarded one after long efforts to bring peace to the former Yugoslavia and the Middle East.
The dinner marked the 125th annual gathering of the Gridiron Club, whose members include Washington-based reporters.
In another reference to his health, Clinton said his favorite cocktail now was "Lipitor on the rocks," referring to the widely prescribed cholesterol-lowering medicine.
He said that when Obama appeared recently on Fox News the president was "keeping his word about meeting with hostile leaders without preconditions."
In a poke at Obama's combative chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, the former president said, "I found Rahm. I created him. I made him what he is today. I am so sorry."
In the 1990s, Emanuel worked in Clinton's White House.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.