Obama: 'I kind of wish I was called Sting'
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President Obama on Sunday welcomed the 2014 Kennedy Center Honorees to the White House, ahead of a gala performance.


Obama told the crowd that he watched actor and filmmaker Tom Hanks’s classic “Big” on Saturday night.

“That's a great movie,” Obama said. “I got kind of choked up."

Singer Al GreenAlexander (Al) N. GreenBipartisan lawmakers call for action on anti-hate crime measures House Democrat sits on Capitol steps to protest extremist threat Biden pledges support for Texas amid recovery from winter storm MORE, comedienne Lilly Tomlin, ballerina Patricia McBride and singer-songwriter Sting were also honored.

“POTUS is a pretty good nickname, but let’s face it, it’s not as cool as Sting," Obama said. “I kind of wish I was called Sting. But I’m stuck with POTUS.”

Sam Waterston, Stephen Spielberg, Whoopi Goldberg, Stephen Colbert, former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusFormer HHS secretary Sebelius joins marijuana industry group More than 200 Obama officials sign letter supporting Biden's stimulus plan Biden seeks to use the bully pulpit he has on COVID-19 MORE, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryKerry says he's 'hopeful, not confident' that China will cooperate on emissions Overnight Energy: EPA pledges new focus on environmental justice | Republicans probe EPA firing of Trump-appointed science advisers | Biden administration asks court to toss kids' climate lawsuit Indian prime minister assures Kerry country committed to Paris climate pledges MORE were among those in the crowd in the East Room, according to a pool report.

“Songs and dance and film express our triumphs and our faults, our strengths, our tenderness in ways that sometimes words simply cannot do,” Obama said. “And so we honor those who have dedicated their lives to this endeavor. Those who have tapped into something previously unspoken, or unsung, or unexpressed. Those who have shown us not simply who they are, but who we all are. Those who are able to tap into those things we have in common, and not just those things that push us apart.”

Obama said the Kennedy Center Honorees “helped us better understand ourselves and each other.”

“And, as President Kennedy expressed, they’ve helped us center our purpose as a nation, and together reflect the quality of our society. For that, we cannot thank them enough,” he added.