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Obama to Staff: You Represent 'Our Deepest Hopes for America'

8:12 AM, Jan 23, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Last night, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama attended the last ball of the Second Inauguration--the Staff Inaugural Ball.

“My main job here tonight,” Obama told the campaign staff, volunteers, and Democratic National Committee staff, “is really simple: It’s just to say thank you. All of you have come to represent for me and Michelle our deepest hopes for America. The average age here is probably around 20 something. And that’s only because I’m here, which brings the average age up, quite a bit.”

Obama compared himself to the group of staffers and said, in the words of the pool reporter, that "the crowd was more capable, serious and poised than he was at that age."

“It makes me know that America’s future is in good hands. As long as all of you understand the immense and incredible power that you possess when you work together, when you join voices,” Obama said.

After chanting "Fired up, Ready to go!" with the crowd, the president of the United States said, “I think Lady Gaga’s fired up, too.”

Lady Gaga performed last night for the president and his staff.

UPDATE: Over 14 hours (!) after the event ended, the White House finally released the full transcript:


Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate Release                                                               January 23, 2013






Washington Convention Center

Washington, D.C.


January 22, 2013



9:00 P.M. EST



THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody!  (Applause.)  You all clean up pretty good.  (Applause.)  You are looking good. 


Couple of acknowledgements I want to make -- first of all, please give it up for DJ Mal Sandiko.  (Applause.)  The U.S. Army Band is in the house.  (Applause.)  We're so proud -- they can play anything -- anything.  Go ahead and make a request, they’ll play it.  They are outstanding.  And we are so grateful for their service to our country each and every day. 


Now, this is just a little gathering, little party among friends.  (Applause.)  Represented here are our outstanding OFA staff and volunteers.  (Applause.)  Our amazing PIC -- that would be Presidential Inaugural Committee Team.  (Applause.)  


MRS. OBAMA:  This has been a great inauguration.  They've done a great job. 


THE PRESIDENT:  Michelle just said this has been a great inauguration, and you've done a great job. 


We've got the DNC convention team that did an amazing job.  (Applause.)  We've got the DNC team that did an amazing job.  (Applause.)  And we've got the White House team, which is pretty good.  (Applause.)  They did an amazing job.




THE PRESIDENT:  I'm here, too.  (Applause.)  That’s true.  And the First Lady of the United States -- (applause) -- bangs and all -- (applause) -- looking very sparkly and twinkly.  (Laughter.)   


Now, I'm not going to speak long, mainly because I've been speaking a lot and you all have heard me before.


MRS. OBAMA:  And the entertainment is pretty good.

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