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We did it, America! The nation has survived to witness Obama’s last State of the Union address. Granted, he still has 12 more months to let us get taken over by Uruguay or sign an executive order ceding all 50 states to Belgium, but we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.
As usual, the First Lady invited a slew of special guests to join her in the gallery, a convention first popularized when Nancy Reagan invited Lenny Skutnik, a federal worker who had rescued a plane crash victim from the Potomac.
According to the White House, tonight’s guests “tell the story of the progress we have made since the president delivered his first address seven years ago.” They include Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft; Maj. Lisa Jaster, one of the first female Army Reserve officers to graduate from Ranger School; Refaai Hamo, a Syrian refugee who lives in Troy, Mich.; and Cedric Rowland, a Chicago Obamacare “navigator.”
But the “guest” getting the most attention is a Clint Eastwood-style empty chair, which is supposed to represent the victims of gun violence “who no longer have a voice.” (I was hoping for an empty file cabinet to represent Americans’ lost health insurance plans.)
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan also gets to invite special guests. He wisely chose Sister Loraine Marie Maguire and Sister Constance Veit from the Little Sisters of the Poor. This is the Catholic order that sought protection from the Obamacare mandate on religious liberty grounds.
Ryan also invited Bishop Shirley Holloway, a DC resident who ministers to those with addictions, and a Wisconsin four-year-old named Logan Barritt, who helped raised $1,300 to send care packages to service members.
My question for you, Ricochetti: Who would you invite as a guest to the SOTU?