Obamas party with 30,000 friends at inaugural balls

Posted on: 8:53 pm, January 21, 2013, by

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  • Commander's-in-Chief ball. Jan. 21, 2013

  • Commander's-in-Chief ball. Jan. 21, 2013

  • Commander's-in-Chief ball. Jan. 21, 2013

  • Commander's-in-Chief ball. Jan. 21, 2013

  • Commander's-in-Chief ball. Jan. 21, 2013

  • President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama stain shelves during a National Day of Service school improvement project at Burrville Elementary School in D.C., Saturday, January 19, 2013.

  • President Obama and Vice President Biden travel to Arlington National Cemetery for a traditional wreath-laying ceremony.

  • President Obama and Vice President Biden travel to Arlington National Cemetery for a traditional wreath-laying ceremony.

  • President Obama and Vice President Biden travel to Arlington National Cemetery for a traditional wreath-laying ceremony.

  • Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts administers the oath of office to President Barack Obama during the official swearing-in ceremony in the Blue Room of the White House on Inauguration Day, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013.

  • President Barack Obama takes the oath of office for the second time in the White House Blue Room on Sunday, Janmuary 20, 2013.

  • President Obama attends church the morning of his inauguration.

  • President Obama attends church the morning of his inauguration.

  • President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama attend a church service at Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., on Inauguration Day, Sunday, January 20, 2013.

  • This is in Farragut Park in DC. Security is tight.

  • Crowds fill the mall for the ingauguration of Barack Obama 2nd term in office. Monday January 21, 2013

  • Crowds fill the mall for the ingauguration of Barack Obama 2nd term in office. Monday January 21, 2013

  • Eva Longoria Inauguration day Monday January 21, 2013

  • Rahm Emanuel Inauguration day Monday January 21, 2013

  • Choir Inauguration day Monday January 21, 2013

  • Various pictures from Inauguration day Monday January 21, 2013

  • Choir from Inauguration day Monday January 21, 2013

  • President Obama looks back on the choir from Inauguration day Monday January 21, 2013

  • Birds eye view from Inauguration day Monday January 21, 2013

  • Various pictures from Inauguration day Monday January 21, 2013

  • President Obama is sworn in as the 44th president (2nd term) Monday January 21, 2013

  • President Obama is sworn in as the 44th president (2nd term) Monday January 21, 2013

  • President Obama is sworn in as the 44th president (2nd term) Monday January 21, 2013

  • President Obama is sworn in as the 44th president (2nd term) Monday January 21, 2013

  • President Obama is sworn in as the 44th president (2nd term) Monday January 21, 2013

  • Inauguration attendees hold flags in anticipation for the main event.

  • Inauguration attendees braving the cold and crowds.

  • Large crowd shot of Inauguration attendees. From CNN’s Chloe Sommers

  • Two Inauguration attendees hanging out before the main event.

  • An Inauguration attendee handing out pins to the crowd.

  • Beyonce and JayZ attend President Obama's Inauguration. Monday January 21, 2013

  • Beyoance sings the National Anthem at the Inauguration of President Barack Obama. Monday January 21, 2013

  • Beyonce sings the National Anthem at the Inauguration of President Barack Obama. Monday January 21, 2013

  • Attorney General Eric Holder arrives for President's Obama's Inauguration.

  • Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius arrives for President's Obama's Inauguration.

  • Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner arrives for President's Obama's Inauguration.

  • Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta arrives for President's Obama's Inauguration.

  • James Taylor performs at President Obama's Inauguration. Monday January 21, 2013

  • James Taylor performs at President Obama's Inauguration. Monday January 21, 2013

  • Kelly Clarkson attends President Obama's Inauguration. Monday January 21, 2013

  • Bill Russell attends President Obama's Inauguration. Monday January 21, 2013

  • Crowds filled the National Mall on a crisp Monday for the second inauguration of President Barack Obama.

  • Crowds filled the National Mall on a crisp Monday for the second inauguration of President Barack Obama. Supporters wave American flags and cheer in the crowds.

  • Crowds filled the National Mall on a crisp Monday for the second inauguration of President Barack Obama. Supporters wave American flags and cheer in the crowds.

  • Crowds filled the National Mall on a crisp Monday for the second inauguration of President Barack Obama. Supporters wave American flags and cheer in the crowds.

  • Crowds filled the National Mall on a crisp Monday for the second inauguration of President Barack Obama. Supporters wave American flags and cheer in the crowds.

WASHINGTON (CNN) — After celebrating his second inauguration with a throng estimated at about 800,000, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama spent the evening at a more intimate affairs — 30,000 guests at two inaugural balls.

The Obamas first swung by the Commander in Chief’s Ball, where they danced in front of a sea of cell phone cameras to Jennifer Hudson’s performance of Al Green’s classic “Let’s Stay Together.” They then switched partners: the first lady danced with a member of the Marine Corps and the president danced with an Air Force servicewoman.

Obama sang a bit of the same song at a campaign fund-raiser in Harlem last year.

The first lady wore a custom, ruby-colored gown designed by Jason Wu, who also designed her inaugural gown in 2009, and the president wore a tuxedo and white tie.

Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, also appeared at the two balls, dancing to Jamie Foxx performing Ray Charles’s “I Can’t Stop Loving You.”

Obama delivered the “thanks of the American people” to the members of the military at the service members’ ball.

“Thank you for volunteering, thank you for stepping up, thanks for making us strong, thank you for keeping us safe,” the commander-in-chief told the cheering revelers.

He also told them that Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey had promised to sing, “so hold him to that.”

The Obamas also danced to “Let’s Stay Together” at the Inaugural Ball, also held in the convention center.

Hudson was one of 21 acts that were to perform at the two balls, including Alicia Keys, Brad Paisley, Far East Movement, fun., members of the cast of “Glee,” John Legend, Katy Perry, Marc Anthony, Mindless Behavior, Nick Cannon, Smokey Robinson, Soul Children of Chicago, Soundgarden, Stevie Wonder and Usher.

Keys changed the lyrics of her hit “Girl on Fire” from “This girl is on fire” to “Obama’s on fire.”

Organizers converted the convention center’s massive, bare-bones exhibit hall into a slightly less bare-bones ballroom. No chandeliers here — just a few drapes and decorations to spruce up the exposed ceiling and fluorescent lights. Revelers danced on the center’s industrial concrete floor.

The Inaugural Ball was split between two floors in the building, and attendees were not allowed to go from floor to floor.

While Monday’s events were the only two official balls, there were others in the city around the inauguration.

On Sunday night, they included the Red, White and Blue Ball headlined by Lynyrd Skynyrd; the Hip Hop Ball, chaired by Russell Simmons with appearances by 2 Chainz, John Legend, Eva Longoria and Swizz Beatz; and the “Latino In Performance” and “Let Freedom Ring!” galas at the Kennedy Center.

On Monday the Creative Coalition was putting on a ball with a performance by the Goo Goo Dolls, while the Young and Powerful Black Tie Ball and the Congressional Black Caucus Inaugural Ball were also taking place in the city.

Sponsors threw a ball for George Washington a week after his inauguration in New York in 1789, but the celebrations were established as a tradition with the inauguration of James Madison in Washington in 1809.

The Obamas dashed around Washington to 10 balls in 2009, but like many things in his second inauguration — smaller crowds, shorter lines, shorter speeches — the number was reduced.

President Bill Clinton’s second inauguration in 1997 holds the record for most balls with 14. George W. Bush had eight balls in 2001 and nine in 2005.

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