Michelle Obama, Laurene Powell Jobs, and Gabrielle Giffords Witness the State of the Union
The first lady beamed in blue tonight during the State of the Union address. The president laid out his accomplishments and plans for the upcoming year to Congressional leaders and other VIPs, setting the stage for his reelection campaign. Michelle will be one of his strongest supporters in the political battle, but tonight she was joined by people most Americans, regardless of politics, can respect. Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs and an education activist, sat right above Michelle in her box. The president mentioned Laurene's husband in the speech, saying: "We should support everyone who’s willing to work; and every risk-taker and entrepreneur who aspires to become the next Steve Jobs."
Other symbolically important figures included everyday single mom Jackie Bray, who sat to the first lady's right. The president called out Jackie by name in his speech, saying "Jackie Bray is a single mom from North Carolina who was laid off from her job as a mechanic. Then Siemens opened a gas turbine factory in Charlotte, and formed a partnership with Central Piedmont Community College. The company helped the college design courses in laser and robotics training. It paid Jackie's tuition, then hired her to help operate their plant. I want every American looking for work to have the same opportunity as Jackie did."
Before the big speech, Obama shared a moment with another inspiring woman, Gabrielle Giffords. The Arizona Congresswoman, who was shot last year, just stepped down to focus on her recovery this week. Gabby and President Obama shed a warm embrace before he spoke. See pictures from the State of the Union address now.