South Carolina gets down at the museum

“I need a few more votes to cancel them out — I can’t cancel them out more than one at a time, which is a darn shame — but we get along well,” he said with a laugh.

Several Republican lawmakers had indicated they might come even if the weekend was a celebration for Democrats, but it did not appear that any had made it out Sunday evening.

The South Carolina State Society has a tradition of hosting its state ball at museums around Washington, with past events taking place at the Air and Space Museum and the Museum of American History.

Sunday’s ball at the Natural History Museum featured food and drink sprinkled throughout the museum’s exhibits — everything from the Hope Diamond to a T-Rex skeleton — most of which were open for the event.

Ball-goers danced to The Voltage Brothers in the museum’s main lobby, which features a giant elephant, while others dined on a buffet-style dinner that included South Carolina-themed shrimp grits, catfish and mac 'n cheese.

On the eve of Obama’s second inauguration, Clyburn said there certainly was a different feel than in 2009, but that didn’t make it any less sweet.

“To me, I think the first one, people can call it an anomaly,” Clyburn said. “Not the second one, not when you get reelected and you have a five-million vote cushion. I think it validates the president.”