President Barack Obama, makes a toast with his wife first lady Michelle Obama, during a luncheon after his ceremonial swearing-in on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. Others are, from left, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Vice President Joe Biden, Jill Biden, Chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio. / AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
Following a meal of lobster, bison and apple pie inside the U.S. Capitol, the president gave a toast to the Senate and House members and talked about the "profound differences" among the lawmakers.
"I recognize that democracy is not always easy and there are profound differences in this room, but I want to thank you for your service," President Obama said holding a glass of California champagne where senators, House members, former presidents, Supreme Court justices and cabinet officials joined the Obamas and Bidens for the traditional inaugural luncheon.
The president is beginning his second term, moving on from a tumultuous first term battling with congressional Republicans over a variety of issues, especially debt, taxes, spending and the debt ceiling - battles likely to continue into the president's second term.
"I'm confident that we can act at this moment," Mr. Obama said.
He also spoke about the "irony" of being president. "The longer you are there, the more humble you become," he said, referring to the challenges of implementing change and everything he had hoped and promised.
He thanked Vice President Joe Biden for being a good "partner" and "friend" and concluded his toast by honoring the "strength" of the American people.
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., toasted the president, saying he watched the president fulfill the role "with brilliance, with patience, with courage, wisdom and kindness." Reid said that "he has learned a great deal" watching and working with the president for the last four years.
Biden also toasted the president, thanking him for giving him the opportunity to be be the country's second-ranking elected official. He called it "one of the great privileges of my life."
He described the president as a "man who never, never, never operates out of fear and only operates out of confidence." Biden then joked that he was talking about Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., the co-host of the inaugural planning committee who is known for being the center of political battles and relishes the media spotlight. The room broke out in laughter.