Obama thanks troops, dances to `Let`s Stay Together` at ball - New York News

Obama thanks troops, dances to `Let`s Stay Together` at inaugural ball

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WASHINGTON (Associated Press) -

President Barack Obama thanked the troops during an inaugural ball honoring the military, and says their nation is behind them.

Obama appeared at the Commander in Chief Ball on Monday night and spoke to several troops in Afghanistan by teleconference. The crowd at the ball cheered the troops overseas. Obama told them the biggest cheer he got during his inaugural speech to the crowd on the National Mall was when he spoke about "the extraordinary men and women in uniform" who are keeping the country strong.

He told them they should know that "You will be on our minds tonight and every single night until our mission in Afghanistan is completed." He promised them they would get the equipment and support they need.

The crowd at the official Inaugural Ball appeared somewhat dazed, even bored, as they awaited the president and first lady's arrival.

All that changed when the band "Fun" broke out into a song they knew by heart. Camera phones in the air, they joined in:

"Tonight, we are young. So let's set the world on fire..."

In unison they sang, until the last verse, when the lead singer's mic cut out. Then it was just the guests filling the massive convention center with the youthful chorus.

President Barack Obama danced with first lady Michelle Obama as Jennifer Hudson cut loose with a rousing rendition of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together."

That song and Obama are not strangers.

The last time Obama met that song in public was a year ago, at a fundraiser at New York's famed Apollo Theater. He crooned a few bars, to the delight of the crowd. Then he joked he'd survived the Sandman -- a reference to Sandman Sims, the tap dancer who chased unpopular acts offstage at the Apollo for decades.

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