TRANSCRIPTS: Obama Remarks at Inaugural Balls

Below are the rough transcripts/verbates for the "Neighborhood", "Home State", "Youth", "Commander-in-Chief", "Mid-Atlantic Region," "Biden Home State," "Western-SW," "Midwest," "Southern" and "Eastern" Inaugural Balls.


20:31:32 Hello America.

20:31:57 First of all, how good-looking is my wife? (crowd cheers)

20:32:20 I want to thank all of you not merely for helping me get elected but I want to thank each and every one of you and all the people who are watching tonight, for all you do to make this country better.

20:32:44 Now this is the neighborhood ball and we got the idea for the neighborhood ball, because we are neighborhood people. And I cut my teeth doing neighborhood work and this campaign was organized neighborhood by neighborhood. And if you think about it, the word neighborhood starts with the word neighbor because it indicates a sense that we as Americans are bound together. That what we have in common is more important than what drives us apart.

20:33:25 And thats why of all the balls that are taking place tonight along with the Commander-in-Chief ball for our military, who we honor, this ball is the one that captures best I think the spirit of this campaign. We are going to need you, not just today, not just tomorrow, but this year for the next four years and who knows after that because together we are going to change America!

20:33:55 Thank you guys


20:45:56 Excuse me everybody. Everybody. We have nine more balls to go to.

20: 46:23 But Michelle and I both want to say thanks. Thanks for this honor. Thanks for this privilege and remember what we said during this campaign, yes we can, yes we will, as long as all of us are working together. Thats what America is about, thats what this campaigns been about. Thats what this administrations been about. Im grateful to all of you. God bless you, God bless the United States of America!!!


21:05:50 Hello everybody, hello! Aloha! Whats going on? I — This is a special ball because it represents our roots. Hawaii, Illinois, and together you've given us so much.

21:06: 30 So many of you got involved, not just in my campaign but got involved in our lives many, many years ago. Youre not new friends, youre old friends. And for that we are grateful to you.

21:06:44 This has been a magnificent last few days but I hope that all of you remember what this campaign and hopefully what this presidency will be about. Its not just a matter of me or my administration making this country better.

21:07:05 Its a matter of all of you, pitching in, working together, trying to get passed our differences in order to create the kind of world we want to pass on to our children and our grandchildren.

21:07:20 Each of you, each of you have the power to make change. If you remember our motto, Yes we can, yes we did in this election and yes we shall in creating the kind o country that our children, our grandchildren, our great grandchildren can thrive in.

21:07:44 Thank you everybody. We love you. God bless you. God bless the United States of America.

(Dances with Michelle)

21:10:16 Have a wonderful evening everybody. Thank you, thank you.


(21:43:08) OBAMA: Thank you. Thank you all for coming. (applause)

(21:23:17) Thank you. (applause) Thank you so much. Thanks to all of you.

(21:43:26) Tonight I have the very special honor as being known as the guy who accompanied Michelle Obama to the ball.

(21:43:41) I want to start by thanking tonights co hosts; the senior enlisted advisors of the five branches of the United States Armed Forces (applause).

(21:43:57) I want to acknowledge the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who are here with us as well. Thank you, gentlemen.

(21:44:09) I also want to recognize some very special guests. Three hundred wounded warriors who are joining us from (inaudible) (applause).

(21:44:26) I want to thank all of you for your service. I wish you quick and healthy recoveries.

(21:44:25) I know that you are more than ready to get home to your families. I know they are more than ready to have you back.

(21:44:43) I also want to take a moment to honor the families of the fallen, who are here with us tonight (applause).

(21:44:53) You have given so much to this country. Know that your loved ones sacrifice has been your sacrifice as well. Please know that you in our thoughts and prayers. Today, everyday, forever.

(21:45:18) And finally, I want to thank all of the enlisted men and women and junior officers here tonight (applause).

(21:45:32) It is wonderful to be surround by some of the very best and bravest Americans. Your courage, grace, and your patriotism inspire us all. To you, and to all those watching around the world, know that as President, I will have no greater honor or responsibility than serving as your commander in chief (applause).

(21:46:07) Right now, as we gather here in Washington, we are sobered by the knowledge that we have troops in all corners of the world, many of them in harms way. We are fighting to wars. We face dangerous threats to our security. We depend on the men and women of our armed services to keep us safe.

(21:46:31) We also know that service and sacrifice arent limited to those who wear the uniform. Because every time a serviceman redeploys, there is an empty seat at the table back home, and a family that has to bear an extra burden. Thats why Michelle has spent so much time these last few months working with our military families (applause).

(21:46:57) And thats why tonight we dont just salute our troops, we salute the military families who have earned the respect of a grateful nation (applause).

(21:47:10) Understand, tonight isnt simply about the inauguration of an American President. Its a celebration of our military and our military families, so going forward you will have our support and our respect.

(21:47:24) You will have a great Secretary of Defense in Bob Gates. You will have a great Secretary of Veterans affairs in General Erik Shinseki (applause).

(21:47:37) And every single day that I am in the White house, I will try to serve you as well as you are serving the United States of America.

(21:47:47) As I said earlier today, while the tests we face are new, and the ways in which we meet them may be new, the values on which our success depends are old. Those values like hard work and honesty, courage and tolerance, loyalty and patriotism, those are values that are embodied in our armed forces. Whats required is for all of us to return to those values, whats required is all of us to embrace a new era of responsibility where we expect and demand not only more of our leaders, but more of ourselves.

(21:48:26) So tonight, we celebrate, but tomorrow the work begins. And I look forward to joining you in that effort. Together I am confident that we will write the next great chapter in Americas story.

(21:48:43) Now, Ive got a little surprise for some of you. As I said before, we have folks who are working right now, in Iraq and Afghanistan, and it appears, if our technology works the way its supposed to, that we should have members of the Illinois Army National Guard 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Unit based in Urbana Illinois. Hey guys.

(21:49:25) (Soldiers start speaking.)

(21:49:49) OBAMA: Before you say anything, else can you please introduce the rest of your crew there?

(21:49:49) (Soldiers speaking. Soldier invites Obama to Afghanistan).

(21:50:21) OBAMA: I will be back.

(21:50:27) (Soldiers speaking).

(21:50:59) OBAMA: Can I ask a question before you pass on the mic — we've got three Chicago guys, this is an important test — White Sox or Cubs?

(21:51:11) Soldier: Cubs fan

(21:51:27) OBAMA: Go to the next guy, lets see if we can find a White Sox fan.

(21:51:30) (Soldiers speaking)

(21:52:31) OBAMA: Well Sgt. Major, we may be outnumbered, us White Sox fans, but whether youre a White Sox, Cubs, or Cardinals, we got some folks probably from Scott Air force Base or something down in Metro East. No matter were you are from, we are all grateful to you for your outstanding service, you make us proud, and we are going to do everything we can to make your work go smoother, and you need to know that every single American, regardless of party, regardless of what their politics are, support you, and will always support you. Thank you so much. (applause).

(21:53:28) Thank you everybody, and I will see you either back home or out where you guys are. Thank you. And we salute you.

(21:53:45) Now. Give them a big round of applause please.

(21:54:00) With that, we have one more person that I need to introduce, that would be the first lady of the United States of America, Michelle Obama (applause).

(21:54:21) I may have been stood up.

(21:54:26) (Michelle Obama comes out)

(21:54:38) (The Obamas Dance)


22:32:35 Hows everybody doing tonight?

22:32:47 I've been looking for this ball for quite some time because when you look at the history of this campaign what started out as an improbable journey when nobody gave us a chance it was carried forward was inspired by, was driven by was energized by, young people all across America

(Crowd chants)


22:33:52 I can't tell you…. I cant tell you how many people have come up to Michelle and myself and said ya know I was kinda skeptical but then my daughter she….she wouldnt budge she just told me I needed to vote for Obama.

22:34: 18 Or.. or …I… suddenly I saw my son out volunteering and traveling and knocking on doors and getting involved like never before… and so a new generation inspired a previous generations and thats how change happens in America

22:34:45 It doesnt just happen in elections and campaigns its happened in service all across America young people getting involved and teach for America, AmeriCorps people teaching in school and working in community organizations joining the peace core.

22:35:11 And s this is broadcasted all around the world we know that young people everywhere are in the process of imagines something different then what has come before

22:35:33 Where there is war they image peace, Where there is hunger they imagine people being able to feed themselves, where there is disease they imagine a public health system that works for everybody, where they imagine bigotries they imagine togetherness

23:36:02 The future will be in your hands if you are able to sustain the kind of energy and focus that youve shown on this campaign

22:36:17 I promise you that America will get stronger and more united more prosperous, more secure, you are going to make it happen and Michelle and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts. God Bless you and God Bless the United States of America

22:36:37 Hit it man…..

(President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama dance)

22:38:30 Thats what called old school….

Have a great night guys…. Love you….


23:04:19 Hello Delaware! Hello Pennsylvania! This has been an extraordinary day. It has been extraordinary because of you. You got us here. We are responsible to you, we are accountable to you. We are grateful to you, not only for the trust you bestow but also for a guy named Joe Biden.

23:05:04 As I said earlier today, we face some daunting challenges. It will not be easy, it will not be quick for us to solve these issues. But looking out over the almost 2 million people that were there today, I am reminded of the power and the force of this country when people are united. Thats what this campaign has been about. Thats what this admin has been about. Thats why I am confident there are better days ahead of us 23:05:50 With that will you please excuse me while I dance with my wife.

(Dances with Michelle)

23:07:42 Have a wonderful night. Lets go change America.


23:20:25 Hello everybody! You made today possible. Your energy, your hardwork, your hope, your commitment. You made possible what people said was impossible.

23:21:03 And if you can do it in an election, then that means you can do it with this administration to make sure that folks have jobs, that theyve got healthcare that is affordable.

23:21:20 That every one of our children can have an education that can allow them to compete in this new age that we can preserve and be good stewards to the earth. Its in your hands and so after this celebration I hope every single one of you take away from today a renewed dedication to making sure that you are playing your part in remaking America.

23:21:55 I thank you. I am grateful to all of you. And now I would like to dance with someone who has been doing the same thing that Ive been doing all this time, except she does them in heels. The first lady of the United States.

(Dances with Michelle)

23:24:14 Thank you everybody! Lets go change America.


23:35:46 Hello everybody! Today was about you, the American people and how you can achieve extraordinary things when you put your mind to it

23:36:09 How you can make possible what seemed impossible. How you can make real what seemed unreal. And if you can do that in an election, then you can apply that same principle to making sure that we have work for people that need a job, and healthcare for those who can afford it, that we preserve and protect this precious earth of ours, that we have a foreign policy that reflects our ideas. Its all in your hands

23:35:46 An Obama administration will make government work, but were not going to be able to do it by ourselves, were going to need you, and so this is not the end, this is the beginning.

23:37:04 And if we have the same kind of mobilization, the same kind of willingness to go all out on behalf of what we value most, then I am absolutely convinced we have better days ahead.

23:37:26 And now I would like to dance with the person whos brung me, whos done everything I do, except she does it in heels. The First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama.

(Dance with Michelle)

23:39:32 Lets go change America.


23:43:30 Hello everybody! (I love you) I love you back. Michelle loves ya back. Today was your day. Today we showed what was possible when Americans from every walk of live come together around our best values. Theres something about the Midwest.

23:44:08 Something about the heartland that speaks to Michelle and myself because I think that folks are plain spoken and plain living and they recognize whets important and I get a sense that all across America, people want to return to whats important.

23:44:35 And we dont want someone telling us what we cant do because Yes we can. If you can make this election possible and this inauguration day possible then you can make good jobs for people who dont have jobs possible, you can make affordable healthcare possible, you can make a quality education fro every child possible. You can make sure our veterans are treated properly, thats got to be possible.

23:45:11 We are grateful to you, but understand this is not the end, this is just the beginning. Together, you and I, all of us we can make sure that Americas better days are ahead of us. Thank you, God bless you guys. And now Id like to dance with the one who brung me, who does everything I do, but backwards and in heels. The First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama.

(Dance with Michelle)

23:47:41 Lets go change America.


(00:12:41) OBAMA: Hows everybody doing?

(00:12:48) Today was your day. You made it possible, knocking on doors, making phone calls, taking to your friends, talking to your neighbors. You achieved what nobody believed was possible. And if we can win an election that way, then we can put people to work that way, and we can provide healthcare to people that way, and provide an education to all our children that way

(00:13:20) This inauguration, as wonderful as its been for Michelle and myself, this inauguration is not the end, its the beginning. And in the days and weeks and moths and years to come, I hope all of you have be reinvigorated to participate in our democracy, because we are going to need you in order to bring about the changes that are possible in this nation.

(00:13:52) So I hope youve had a wonderful day. With that, I want to dance with the one who brung me, the love of my life, who does everything I do, except backwards and in heels, the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama.

(00:14:25) (Obamas dance)


(00:36:24) OBAMA: Hello everybody.

(00:36:32) Did you enjoy today?

(00:36:38) Today, was your day. Today, was a day that represented all your efforts, all your faith, all your confidence, and whats possible in America. They said it couldnt be done. And you did it.

(00:37:11) And if we apply that not just to elections, but to jobs, to how we rebuild our communities, then when people tell you we cant employ folks you are out of work, you say -

(00:37:32) CROWD: Yes we can

(00:37:37) OBAMA: When folks say, well you cant fix the health care system

(00:37:40) CROWD: Yes we can

(00:37:44) OBAMA: Some of our kids are destined to fail in school, you say we can change it.

(00:37:49) OBAMA: Yes we can.

(00:37:54) There is something in the spirit of the American people, that insists on recreating this country when we get a little bit off course. And thats what powered this election. Its whats given our team the kind of energy that has allowed us to overcome extraordinary obstacles. And its what gives me so much confidence that our better days are ahead.

(00:38:33) As long as all of you understand that this is not the end, this is the beginning. And we are gonna need you tomorrow, were gonna need you next week, were gonna need you next month, next year, and out into the future, because government alone cant do it. We are gonna need you each and every step of the way.

(00:38:58) And if youre willing to join us, then I think that we can continue this extraordinary ride.

(00:39:07) This is our last event of Inauguration Day. And so since the First Lady of the United States, has been doing the same thing that Ive been doing except backwards and in heels, let me ask her for one last dance.

(00:39:55) (Obamas Dance)