President Obama’s high-profile public events surrounding his second-term swearing-in are over, but he still has a few lingering inaugural-related events Tuesday.
On Tuesday, the president and first lady Michelle Obama will attend a prayer service at the National Cathedral in Washington, a post-inaugural tradition dating back to 1933.
Vice President Joe Biden and wife Jill joined them, along with Treasury Secretary-designate Jack Lew, Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat.
The Rev. Adam Hamilton, the senior pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, delivered the sermon.
During the sermon, Rev. Hamilton called for national unity and an end to partisan fighting in Washington, singling out the debt ceiling and health care as issues in which the country needs to come together.
“We’re in need of a new common national vision – not one that is solely Democratic, or solely Republican,” he said. “We need at least one or two goals or dreams that Americans on both sides of the aisle can come together and say ‘Yes! That’s what it means to be American. That’s where we need to go.’”
He also told Mr. Obama that God had given him a unique gift.
“Unlike any other president we’ve ever had, you have the ability to cast a vision and inspire people,” he said. “You should have been a preacher.”
Mr. Obama led a standing ovation after children in the gospel choir sang, “Determined to Go On.”
Tonight, the Obamas and the Bidens will appear at another party, the Staff Inaugural Ball, which will be held at the city’s convention center. Pop diva Lady Gaga is expected to perform.