POPSUGAR Celebrity

Who Gets to Sit With the First Lady at the State of the Union?

Jan 28 2014 - 1:08pm

Each year during President Barack Obama's State of the Union, First Lady Michelle Obama makes a statement — and we don't mean the fashion kind. Those invited to join the FLOTUS in her box are chosen carefully, and the list always mirrors the president's message. Whether they're everyday Americans or prominent ones, these guests put a human face to headlines or policy. This year, Michelle has invited a diverse group, including General Motors CEO Mary Barra, the governor of Kentucky, the mayor of San Francisco, a person who immigrated to America illegally as a child, two Boston Marathon bombing survivors, and openly gay NBA player Jason Collins. Expect to hear a few shout-outs to these individuals in the president's speech, a tradition Ronald Reagan started. Ahead of tonight's pomp and politics, let's see who had the honor in the past.

2013

In 2013, Michelle was joined by the following:

Gun violence and technology were among the issues reflected in the guest list.

2013

Michelle gave Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton a hug during the speech.

2012

In 2012, Michelle Obama invited several well-known people:

The guest list reflected priorities including immigration, gun control, innovation, income inequality, and gay rights.

2012

Michelle and astronaut Mark Kelly waved. Kelly's wife, Gabby Giffords, also made an emotional appearance on the floor of Congress that year.

2011

The 2011 State of the Union came just weeks after Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in Tucson. Michelle invited the following:

The theme of this State of the Union was national unity, and members of Congress decided to sit together, undivided by political party.

2011

Michelle shared a moment with Dallas Green, Christina-Taylor's brother.

2010

Obama's first official State of the Union took place in 2010, and Michelle's long guest list included the following:

Many of the guests had felt the positive effects of the Recovery Act, aka the stimulus bill.

2010

Michelle shared a moment with the two officers.

2009

While 2009 was not officially a State of the Union, since President Obama had not been in office for very long, he did address a joint session of Congress. This time, the newly minted first lady invited the following:

The guests reflected the president's message of recovery and fairness for the start of his presidency.

2009

The first lady hugged Ty'Sheoma Bethea, who had never been on a plane before heading to DC for the big address.


Source URL
http://www.popsugar.com/celebrity/Michelle-Obama-State-Union-Guests-33792332