Saturday, January 15, 2011

Momentum builds for bipartisan State of the Union seating

The skeptic that I am tells me that the Dems are putting another one over on the naive Republicans. Since the Democrats will have the minority of seats at the event due to the recent election, I believe they want to lessen the impact of negative reactions to the Presidents speech. What better way to do that then to intersperse their members throughout the hall. Since they will be standing and cheering at every word (aka Pelosi last year), it will look like the whole hall agrees with Obama.

Where was this bipartisanship when the Democrats were in control?

Don't blame me, as a CPA/auditor, I was trained to be a skeptic.

Momentum is building to mix the traditionally partisan seating arrangements at the State of the Union later this month, even though there’s no clear plan for how to actually make that happen.

Several Senate Republicans have signed on to the effort, along with a few key House leaders, who have endorsed Democratic Sen. Mark Udall’s proposal to head across the aisle – literally – and sit with members of the opposite party during the annual address on Jan. 25.

All told, more than two dozen members of Congress have publicly endorsed the idea.

Congressional seating is open at the State of the Union on a first-come basis, so anyone can sit anywhere — outside of the first few rows reserved for cabinet officials, Supreme Court justices and certain congressional leaders.

The real test will come the evening of the address, when members will choose to sit with their parties or mix it up. But at least on paper, Udall’s request for a “symbolic gesture of unity” is gaining support.

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) announced Friday she is now “co-leader” of the initiative, supported by GOP colleagues Sen. John McCain, Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe, Maine Sen. Susan Collins and New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte.

Read full POLITICO article here.

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