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Obama's late-night White House party: Commander of the 'Soul Train'

Updated: January 22, 2013 3:07PM

WASHINGTON--After President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle danced at an Inaugural Ball as Jennifer Hudson crooned "Let's Stay Together," Monday night, they zipped back to the White House at 10:12 p.m. ET where they partied with friends and family until the wee hours.

The Obama late-night filled the East and State rooms at the White House and featured a lot of dancing, including at one point the president taking over as "Soul Train" was playing.

Who was the engine on that train? "The commander-in-chief," Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said while describing the party at a coffee Tuesday morning at a breakfast for Illinois residents.

Afterwards, I asked for more details. "What a party," Durbin said. The president and first lady were still dancing away when he and his wife, Loretta, left near 1 a.m. The party lasted past 3 a.m. Singer John Legend sent a Tweet, "2:30am at the White House. It's a celebration!"

Obama was dancing with his coat off still with white tie; Mrs. Obama was still wearing her Jason Wu gown.
Durbin said Janelle Monae performed. Around midnight a D.J. kicked in and tables were pushed aside in the East Room to make a bigger dance floor.

Among the Chicagoans present: Obama's two Chicago former chiefs of staff: Mayor Rahm Emanuel who later hosted his own late night and wife Amy Rule; Bill Daley and wife Bernadette Keller; Penny Pritzker, David Axelrod and wife Susan; John Rogers and daughter Victoria.

There were only two other senators, Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Col.) and Sen. Robert Casey (D-Pa.), two swing-state lawmakers who gave crucial political support to Obama.

Malia and Sasha at one point on the packed dance floor where people were rocking out shoulder to shoulder. "They were dancing with their mom and dad."

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