Transcript by Newsy****
BY CHRISTINA HARTMAN
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As President Obama puts the finishing touches on his State of the Union address - lawmakers and the media are busy picking out corsages.
KSWB-TV: “Tomorrow will be date night for Congress, as Republicans and Democrats will sit together for the annual speech.”
HLN: “Date night in D.C. ... Kind of like boy/girl, boy/girl, Republican/Democrat.”
It’s like prom night on Capitol Hill.
And Democratic Senator Mark Udall is the chairman of the prom committee. He’s proposing Democrats and Republicans sit together at the president’s address as a symbol of civility following the shooting rampage in Arizona earlier this month.
And lawmakers are playing along -- for the most part, anyway.
ABC: SEN. KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON: “I don't have a date.”
SEN. KENT CONRAD: “Kay, I'm available.” (LAUGHTER) (FLASH)
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: “Senator Conrad, have you picked a date?”
SEN. KENT CONRAD: “I just asked Kay.” (LAUGHTER)
Fox News: SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): “My new Senate Republican colleague from Illinois Mark Kirk and I will sit together. I'm bringing the popcorn and he is bringing a coke with two straws.”
By Sunday - more than 50 members of Congress had paired off. And according to a new CNN poll - most Americans like the idea - with 72 percent saying they want to see the mixed seating.
The president is set to discuss jobs, the deficit, and the GOP’s health care repeal efforts. But Politico’s Carol Lee and Glenn Thrush are among the commentators who worry - the theatrics of Congressional “date night” could trump substance.
“Still, the event offers the president the largest audience he’ll get all year, one that rivals the viewership for the Academy Awards. Obama’s first State of the Union address, last year, drew 48 million viewers...”
But in guest commentary for The Washington Post - leadership consultant Carol Kinsey Goman says you can joke about the theatrics - but there’s real potential in this idea.
“Congress is right to understand that where they sit sends a signal about their power dynamics and willingness to cooperate... I'm not saying that this symbolic seating arrangement one evening will foster actual, long-term collaboration. But I do think it's at least a scoot in the right direction.”
There IS at least one bi-PARTY-san pooper -- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s planning to sit where he’s always sat. Wanna see who’s paired off so far? Check out the link in our transcript section.
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