Presidential job speech seat-savers
President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address on Jan. 25.
September 8th, 2011
04:57 PM ET
3 years ago

Presidential job speech seat-savers

Washington (CNN) - A time-honored tradition of any presidential address to Congress is the jockeying for prime seating by lawmakers on both sides of the center aisle of the House chamber. Hours before President Barack Obama was scheduled to present his jobs plan to a joint session of Congress Thursday, a handful of seats were already spoken for.

According to a congressional source familiar with the speech plans, Democratic Rep. Dale Kildee, Michigan, Rep. Barbara Lee, California, Rep. Lynn Woolsey, California, Rep. Joe Baca, California, and Rep. Silvestre Reyes, Texas had all staked out positions even before 9 a.m. ET.

On Monday, Sept. 12th, CNN will broadcast the "Tea Party Republican Debate," live from Tampa, Florida at 8 p.m. ET. Follow all the issues and campaign news leading up to the debate on CNNPolitics.com and @cnnpolitics on Twitter.

While members are not technically supposed to reserve seats ahead of such an address, the hand-shaking photo opportunities with the President as he enters and exits the chamber has long-been part of the pomp and circumstance of such an event.

Just before the House recessed Thursday afternoon to prepare for a security sweep of the chamber, the presiding officer reminded members of the policy and noted that seats could only be reserved with a "physical presence" once the chamber was re-opened shortly before the joint address this evening.

Several seats on the Republican side of the chamber were also reserved near the center aisle Thursday afternoon though it was unknown whom had claimed the seats.


Filed under: Congress • President Obama
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniel

    Only the Dems will care, this time.

    September 8, 2011 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  2. Marie MD

    Interesting. I just noticed that every major channel will show the President's speech tonight. ALL, except that fair and balanced full of BS, they don't report the news unless it's half lies and innuendos and they are seen by thousands upon thousands of fools who are brain dead faux news.
    I guess job creation and what the President says it's not really as important as maneuvering what Jim Hoffa said about voting out the teatards to make it sound like he was asking for people to go out and murder, sort of a la quitter of AK way. Then again, this is the faux way isn't it?

    September 8, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    @Marie MD – well put. It has been easy for an Australian and a Saudi to use Fox as a source of misinformation, lies, and untruths. Hopefully the hackers at republican extreme media will eventually get their due.

    September 8, 2011 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "Only the Dems will care, this time."

    Guess what? The Republicans ARE BEING PAID TO CARE. THEY'RE ON OUR FREEKIN DIME WHILE SHIRKING THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES AND DISRESPECTING THE OFFICE OF THE POTUS AND THE INSTITUTION OF CONGRESS BY PRETENDING THAT A SPEECH BY THE SITTING POTUS BEFORE A JOINT SESSION OF CONGRESS IS A SKIPPABLE NON-EVENT.

    "maneuvering what Jim Hoffa said about voting out the teatards to make it sound like he was asking for people to go out and murder"

    As it is, CNN and the rest of the MSM seem to be having a jolly old time ignoring Charles Koch holding an event with a room full of millionaire/billionaire conservative donors and making a speech in which he literally quoted SAddam Hussein by saying that 2012 will be the "mother of all wars" against the Dems...you know, as part of convincing everyone to go out and secretly give Crossroads GPS 7-figure donations.

    September 8, 2011 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  5. dan

    Another speech, another dollar......
    What is the best strategy to get the economy and jobs going? Politics aside - all sides please!!!

    September 8, 2011 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |