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Obama fetes staffers at final inaugural ball

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JOSH LEDERMAN | January 22, 2013 09:34 PM EST | AP

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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is thanking White House aides and his re-election campaign staffers at the final celebration of his inauguration.

Obama told thousands of guests at his staff ball Tuesday night that they represent, in his words, his "deepest hopes for America." He said he knows the nation's future is in good hands.

First lady Michelle Obama, wearing a silver and black ensemble, echoed the president's campaign-year chant of "fired up, ready to go."

Pop icon Lady Gaga and singer Tony Bennett were providing the entertainment.

Proceeds will support a memorial fund for Alex Okrent, a campaign worker who collapsed and died at Obama's campaign headquarters in July.