US President Joe Biden quipped that he is seeking a “back-to-back” term in the White House while honouring famous figures including Bruce Springsteen and Vera Wang.
Rock star Springsteen was recognised at the National Medal of the Arts ceremony for “his extraordinary contributions to the American songbook”.
When presenting novelist Colson Whitehead – who won back-to-back Pulitzer Prizes – Mr Biden gave an insight into his future in the White House, with a quip about seeking re-election.
“Pretty good man,” he said, before adding: “I’m kind of looking for a back-to-back myself.”
The president is expected to announce in the coming weeks his bid for re-election in 2024.
Donald Trump, who Mr Biden beat in the 2020 presidential election, has already said he is seeking to return to the White House at the next election.
As well as Springsteen and designer Wang, others honoured for their work in the arts included singer Gladys Knight, actresses Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Mindy Kaling, poet and author Richard Blanco and social historian Earl Lewis.
“You do make the country better, you make it a better place,” Mr Biden told the award-winners.
At the event, the US Marine Corps band performed orchestral numbers of Springsteen’s hits Born to Run and Born in the USA.