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President Obama lights National Christmas Tree

  • President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and their daughters Sasha and Malia, sing during the annual National Christmas Tree Lighting on the Ellipse, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, in Washington. This year's giant blue spruce is new, transplanted in October on the Ellipse, south of the White House. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON — As he and his family flipped the switch to light the National Christmas Tree Thursday night, President Barack Obama said he hopes the tree lasts longer than its predecessor, which died after just a year.

"Our tree has been having a hard time recently. This is our third one in as many years," Obama said, noting that a tree that stood near the White House for more than three decades was lost in a storm early last year. Its replacement didn't take hold.

"It just goes to show, nobody's job is safe here in Washington," Obama joked.

One month after winning re-election, Obama said he is optimistic about the latest tree, a 28-foot blue spruce that was transplanted just days before Hurricane Sandy and made it through the storm seemingly unharmed.

Obama was joined at the 90th annual tree-lighting ceremony by first lady Michelle Obama, daughters Sasha and Malia, and mother-in-law Marian Robinson.


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