(AP) - President George W. Bush poked fun at his potential successors, expressing surprise that none of them were in the audience at the White House Correspondents' Association annual dinner.
"Senator McCain's not here," Bush said of Republican nominee-in-waiting John McCain. "He probably wanted to distance himself from me a little bit. You know, he's not alone. Jenna's moving out too."
Bush then referred to scandals that have dogged the campaigns of the two remaining Democratic candidates, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, in explaining their absence: "Hillary Clinton couldn't get in because of sniper fire and Senator Obama's at church."
The president admitted to being "a little wistful" Saturday night in his final appearance at the dinner, showing video clips of his routines from previous years. He finished by conducting the U.S. Marine Band in a medley of patriotic marches.
Bush was followed by Craig Ferguson, the host of CBS' "Late Late Show."
The Scottish-born Ferguson was expected to find middle ground between the tepid impersonations of last year's entertainer, Rich Little, and the merciless satire that Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert delivered in 2006.
The guest list for the dinner includes plenty of VIPs from outside Washington: Actors Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, John Cusack, Pamela Anderson and Claire Danes, singers Ashlee Simpson and the Jonas Brothers and author Salman Rushdie were among the invitees. Washington's power elite was still well represented, with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff in attendance.
The White House Correspondents Association was formed in 1914 as a liaison between the press and the president. Every president since Calvin Coolidge has attended the dinner.