President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama arrive to speak to supporters and donors at an inaugural reception for the 57th Presidential Inauguration at The National Building Museum in Washington, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013. / AP Photo/Charles Dharapak
Hours after being sworn in for his second term, President Obama this evening thanked donors for getting behind his campaign, noting that this weekend's inaugural events are a celebration for the whole nation.
"Feel free to stay up as late as you want, tomorrow's not a school night," Mr. Obama joked to the donors gathered for a "candlelight celebration" at the National Building Museum in Washington. The swanky reception featured entertainment from the U.S. Navy Sea Chanters (the Navy's official chorus) and Stevie Wonder.
"Make sure you know that what we're celebrating is not the election or swearing in of a president," Mr. Obama continued. "What we're doing is celebrating each other and celebrating this incredible nation we call home."
After the celebrations, he added, "Let's make sure we work as hard as we can to pass on an America worthy not only of our past but also of our future."
Earlier in the day, Mr. Obama was officially sworn in for his second term. However, because the constitutionally-mandated date for the swearing in, Jan. 20, fell on a Sunday, there will be a public inaugural ceremony tomorrow. Mr. Obama will once again take the oath of office at the West Front of the Capitol, followed by all the pomp and circumstance afforded to inaugurals.
There are hundreds of events around Washington this weekend to celebrate the inauguration, as well as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Mr. Obama joked, however, that the biggest news of the weekend was his wife's new hairstyle.
"I love Michelle Obama, and to address the most significant event of this weekend: I love her bangs," he said. "She looks good. She always looks good."
The president also praised Vice President Joe Biden and Biden's wife Jill.
"As president, you make a lot of important decisions," he said. "Probably the most important decision is who's going to be your partner during the course of your presidency... One decision I know was absolutely correct, absolutely spot on, was my choice of vice president."
Mr. Obama also commended the donors sitting before him, telling them, "All of you here understood... when we put our shoulders to the wheel of history, it moves. It moves forward."
Before Mr. Obama's remarks, Biden told the audience that the president is "just getting started."
"In the weeks and months ahead we're going to reduce gun violence here in America, we're going to pass comprehensive immigration reform and we're going to put this nation's economy on a sustainable path to the future," he said.