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:
- Lilly Ledbetter, the plaintiff in an employment discrimination case and namesake for the president's first piece of legislation, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
- Ty'Sheoma Bethea of Dillon, an eighth grader from South Carolina who had written the president asking for help for her school
- Leonard Abess, a bank executive who had given part of his fortune to his employees
- Akrem Muzemil and Francisco Rodriguez, DC high school students
The guests reflected the president's message of recovery and fairness for the start of his presidency.