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Florida parties with the Obamas

It was late. The location was remote. But Florida was no less enthused when President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama appeared just after midnight to pay their respects to the state -- and 10 other Southern states at the Southern Inaugural Ball.

The room was awash with flashing cameras and cell phones and The Miami Herald was there to document in pictures. See them here. Obama - in white tux -- told the assembled they had achieved "what nobody believed was possible" and he told them he'd still need their help in resuscitating the economy. "This is not the end, it's the beginning," he said. "We are going to need you."

Then he put his arm around the First Lady and declared, "With that, I want to dance with the one who brung me. The love of my life, the one who does everything I do, except backwards and in heels."

The crowd swooned. And swooned again when the First Lady offered the crowd a wave and a smile during the brief dance. 

Tallahassee's Allan Katz declared the event at DC's cavernous National Guard Armory a giant success. He and his wife, Nancy Cohn, noted it was a giant improvement over their last ball 32 years ago -- for Jimmy Carter.

"There's such a vibe here, everything that happened today is unlike anything we've ever seen in our lives and everyone is still soaring," he said. "And there's more food."