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Standing ovation for Obama at his last Kennedy Center Honors

Associated Press logo Associated Press 12/5/2016 By BEN NUCKOLS, Associated Press
Teresa Heinz Kerry, front row, from left, Kennedy Center Honorees Al Pacino, Mavis Staples, Martha Argerich, James Taylor, and Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter; rear row, from left, Secretary of State John Kerry, Kennedy Center Honorees Joe Walsh, Don Henley, and Timothy Schmit, and David Rubinstein are photographed following the State Department for the Kennedy Center Honors gala dinner, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, in Washington. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf) © The Associated Press Teresa Heinz Kerry, front row, from left, Kennedy Center Honorees Al Pacino, Mavis Staples, Martha Argerich, James Taylor, and Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter; rear row, from left, Secretary of State John Kerry, Kennedy Center Honorees Joe Walsh, Don Henley, and Timothy Schmit, and David Rubinstein are photographed following the State Department for the Kennedy Center Honors gala dinner, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, in Washington. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The longest, loudest standing ovation of the Kennedy Center Honors gala wasn't reserved for Al Pacino, Mavis Staples or the Eagles. Instead, it went to the man sitting to their left, attending his eighth and most likely his last honors presentation: President Barack Obama.

Kennedy Center Honoree Al Pacino shakes hands with U.S. Marine Corps 2nd Lt. Kelley Johnson following the State Department for the Kennedy Center Honors gala dinner, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, in Washington. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf) © The Associated Press Kennedy Center Honoree Al Pacino shakes hands with U.S. Marine Corps 2nd Lt. Kelley Johnson following the State Department for the Kennedy Center Honors gala dinner, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, in Washington. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

While politics were absent from the tributes to the performers who were recognized for influencing American culture Sunday night, the arts community's affection for Obama — and its nervousness about President-elect Donald Trump — was palpable in the Kennedy Center Opera House.

Kennedy Center Honorees Al Pacino kisses fellow honoree Mavis Staples, center, with honoree Martha Argerich, right, following the State Department for the Kennedy Center Honors gala dinner, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, in Washington. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf) © The Associated Press Kennedy Center Honorees Al Pacino kisses fellow honoree Mavis Staples, center, with honoree Martha Argerich, right, following the State Department for the Kennedy Center Honors gala dinner, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, in Washington. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

The president and first lady Michelle Obama were introduced last, after Pacino and his fellow honorees: gospel singer Staples; pianist Martha Argerich; singer-songwriter James Taylor; and Don Henley, Timothy B. Schmidt and Joe Walsh, the surviving members of the Eagles.

Secretary of State John Kerry, top left, meets with Eagles members Tim Schmit, right, Don Henley, second right, and Joe Walsh, second left, all 2016 Kennedy Center Honorees following the State Department for the Kennedy Center Honors gala dinner, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, in Washington. Also photographed are honorees, front row from left, Al Pacino, Mavis Staples and Martha Argerich. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

Secretary of State John Kerry, top left, meets with Eagles members Tim Schmit, right, Don Henley, second right, and Joe Walsh, second left, all 2016 Kennedy Center Honorees following the State Department for the Kennedy Center Honors gala dinner, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, in Washington. Also photographed are honorees, front row from left, Al Pacino, Mavis Staples and Martha Argerich. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)
© The Associated Press
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