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State of the Union/Congressional Prom Night 2011 Seat Buddies Update

By Doug Powers  •  January 22, 2011 10:54 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

Over the weekend, Congress will be consumed by the important national business that will no doubt involve sending their colleagues text messages that say things like, “OMG, I totally heard that he’s going to ask you to go to the SOTU with him!”

Back when this idea was first floated, there were only a few takers, but now it’s getting embarrassing — and I mean even more than usual:

Dozens of lawmakers are getting a second dose of high school as they venture across the aisle and ask colleagues to sit with them for President Obama’s State of the Union address next week.

In a petition circulated to members earlier this month, Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) called on his colleagues to sit with a lawmaker of the opposing party as a way to heal Congress’s increasingly divisive rhetoric, which at times can erupt into hateful and even violent debate in the public arena.

The bipartisan gesture carries a serious tone for nearly all who have pledged to do away with the typical seating arrangement, which is not assigned but generally gets divided by party. But the humor of asking one of their fellow lawmakers to attend the event as their “date” has not escaped members.

“It’s a little like prom,” joked one Democrat, who asked not to be identified. “You just hope they don’t turn you down.”

This is one prom night that is bound to culminate in the taxpayers getting knocked up yet again.

So far almost 60 members of Congress are taking part in the bipartisan mixer, but one Senator who has signed on to idea still doesn’t have a date:

Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) office said that he has not announced who he will sit next to yet.

Russ Feingold, you are indeed missed.

A complete list of who’s dating who next Tuesday is here.


House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and seat mate House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), above, arrive at the State of the Union/Prom Night 2011

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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