The Straits Times
Published on Jan 23, 2013

Lady Gaga, Tony Bennett at final Obama ball


WASHINGTON (AFP) - Pop diva Lady Gaga and veteran crooner Tony Bennett spanned the generations on Tuesday as President Barack Obama offered a final thank you to his army of campaign volunteers at his last inaugural ball.

Mr Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama appeared at a staff ball, which drew more than 10,000 guests, a day after official inaugural ceremonies marking the start of his second White House term.

"My main job here tonight is really simple - it's just to say thank you," Mr Obama said, in a valedictory appearance before volunteers from his nationwide grassroots campaign battalions which helped him win two presidential terms.

"All of you have come to represent for me and Michelle our deepest hopes for America," said Mr Obama, a former community organiser, who built the most formidable campaign machine in the history of US politics.