September 9th, 2009
06:38 PM ET
11 years ago

Saving good seats in the House chamber


In anticipation of the president's address, members of Congress are saving good seats in the House chamber. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/File)

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Members of Congress haven't camped out for hours in the House chamber to save prime seats like they did for President Obama's first joint address back in February, but several did come to the chamber early Wednesday morning to put place cards in prime center aisle seats to reserve them for tonight. Lawmakers in these seats are positioned to greet the President as he enters and possibly shake his hand or give him a slap on the back in front of network TV cameras.

According to a congressional source who arrived in the House chamber for preparations early this morning, Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick had already placed a marker saving a prime seat about halfway down the aisle on the Democratic side. Fellow Democrat Eliot Engel, who camped out in February for hours to get his aisle seat, arrived on the floor around 8:30 am this morning and put a marker on the seat just below Kilpatrick's.

This source also tells CNN that Democratic Reps. Laura Richardson, Jesse Jackson Jr., Elijah Cummings, and Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee reserved spots on the aisle on the Democratic side of the chamber this afternoon. Reps. Emanuel Cleaver, John Salazar, and Dale Kildee saved seats just one in from the aisle.

In a change to the unofficial protocol to past Presidential joint addresses, some Democrats actually put markers on aisle seats on the Republican side of the chamber, which is on the president's right as he heads down the center aisle. Traditionally, Democrats sit on one side of the chamber for major speeches, and Republicans sit on the other. Democrats Yvette Clark, Joe Baca, and Al Green reserved seats on the aisle on the GOP side. Republican Reps. Tim Murphy, John Sullivan, and Cliff Stearns have also reserved seats on the GOP side of the aisle.

Filed under: Congress • House
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Deuce

    Knights of the Round Table? "Well one side???

    September 9, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  2. B

    The Circus begins.......

    Good luck Mr. President !

    September 9, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  3. lucy

    The Republicans lost so many seats, the Democrats had to reserve seats on both sides of the aisle. Hopefully, the Democrats will be soon pass a health care bill for all Americans. If they do, I bet America will agree that the Dems deserve the best seats in the House.

    September 9, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  4. Jesus Christ the Son of God Against StOoPiD Dumb Ass Republicans

    All Republicans should eat crap and die. Hopefully they will fade away into the depths of hell created by their Supreme Creator, Jardge DUH-Bya Bahoosh. He is the head of the unholy trinity of Kaching$$$-Cheney and Rummy-Rumsfeld.

    My name is Jesus and I approve this message.

    September 9, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  5. LacrosseMom

    We will be watching President Obama. Hoping the far-right is listening!

    September 9, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  6. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Bravo, Mr. President.

    September 9, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  7. Amanda, CO

    Oh, I wish I was there. It must really be nice to have a front row seat to history. Wow.

    September 9, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  8. Reatte Beaumont Texas

    Aren't these mature adults or what? What a bunch of crap they are all clueless on reality one day maybe they will grow up and one day hope they get voted out before they really ruin the country any futher

    GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 9, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  9. Idiot_Pelosi

    Er, Uh, Uh, Change, Er, Uh, Change.

    Take OBAMAcare and FLUSH IT.

    Unions want more free healthcare.

    BOYCOTT UNION based companies wherever you can.

    September 9, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |

    I would solve the Healthcare problem of this country !! starting tomorrow ..Take away all healthcare services from congress members and all gov. employees ! I would like to see the speed .. in that case to resolve this issue .....

    September 9, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |

    Do me favor, DONT SAVE ME A SEAT, because you hired politicians JUST DONT GET IT.

    September 9, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  12. linda from south dakota

    who cares wherew who sits,, as long as they listen to whats said witha nopen mind,, too many think this plan for health care is ,, u have to stop your current insurance,,, NOOOOOOOO u dont,,, its for people who dont have insurance,, listen to whats said,, geezzz,,,,, DONT BE SWAYED BY REPUBLICANS

    September 9, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  13. mike

    Rev. wright took an aisle seat, right next to van jones. Bill ayers will be sitting next to barney frank and chris dodd.

    September 9, 2009 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  14. annie against biased news

    Guess you have to be upfront and close so you don't miss any of the lies! Have not heard obama tell anything but lies from the beginning of the campaign to present and when he gets caught in one cnn, msnbc, etc (all the biased news media) are right there to cover it up for him! Doesn't matter what he says tonight the REAL AMERICAN CITIZENS have heard way too many lies from obama and at least 95'% of congress.

    September 9, 2009 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  15. S Callahan

    It makes on want to vomit with the juvinelle behavior of our elected represenatives...this is something to be seen in high school....

    While they are saving seats they might want to consider saving some bucks for the poor..the proposed 800 fine for individuals and 2500 for families is an absolute joke as well as the cost maxium of I believe around 800 for singles and much higher for families for a policy........there are some families living in our country now living on 3000 or less a year...hard to believe but I'm sure our legislatures have not visited the low income areas, shelters, or tripled up family households lately. .Shame Shame

    September 9, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  16. Suzy

    I just want to say one more time that I do not support any public form of healthcare other than Medicare and Medicaid–for the appropriate people. If we were to spend some money cleaning up those 2 systems, we would have plenty to pay back the Social Security system. I say we need to attack fraud first, leave private business alone, and stop paying for illegals and deadbeats to visit the ER and the hospital. That may sound callous. However, I've worked for 43 years now, paid all my bills, raised 2 children pretty much on my own, and don't appreciate being told I need to fund healthcare for those who don't have a history even close to mine. One last remark: I'm really tired, when I disagree with Obama's ideas and policies, of being accused of being a racist. Good grief, what a leap that is! I'm not a racist...or a socialist.

    September 9, 2009 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  17. vick

    lets get this done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thank you OBAMA you are the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We dont need GOP to save our health care or our country they are waist of our time

    September 9, 2009 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  18. Larry

    Hello my Friends to the South. God Bless you. Please allow for inclusive medical insurance. You are the the only G-7 without it. I am unemployed, for now, but when a boy my Dad was a janitor- no beneifits. We did not see a doctor! Even all Cubans can see a doctor- no cost. do what is right.

    Also, why did Larry Kudlow say Mr. Obama & not President Obama just now on CNBC. Tells his state of thinking!


    September 9, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  19. JT, Texas

    Are they fighting over where they sit now? Is this kindergarten? Shouldn't they have more important things on their mind?

    September 9, 2009 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |