Washington (CNN) - Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, asked reporters covering Tuesday's State of the Union address not to spend too much time focusing on prom-like questions about where Republicans and Democrats are sitting, but instead to concentrate on the content of President Obama's speech.
"It's like going to the prom and who's wearing what dress," Murkowski said. "And to a certain extent this has been a little bit of a dating show. You know, who are you going with? Reminds me a little of 8th grade."
Murkowski spoke at a news conference with Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colorado, and other early proponents of the bipartisan seating arrangements that have dominated much of the news coverage of the annual speech.
"It should be the content of his speech and not necessarily where everyone ends up sitting," she said.
Despite her plea, Murkowski and Udall couldn't stop themselves from playing up high school themes.
"There are no cooties" to be spread between Democrats and Republicans, Murkowski said.
Udall said the bipartisan seating plan was aimed at stopping the "high school pep rally" atmosphere in the House chamber as members of one party cheer the president's remarks while members of the other party sit with their arms folded.
'We want to change the tone and show the public that we can work together," Udall said.
Murkowski said she has a "double-date" for the speech with Democratic Sens. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland and Daniel Akaka of Hawaii.
Udall said he has a "mystery" guest who will be revealed later in the day.