Washington is buzzing today over a proposal to shake up tradition and get members of Congress to adopt a bipartisan seating plan for the upcoming State of the Union address.
Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) is leading the charge to get members of opposite parties to sit together in a symbolic show of unity during the president's Jan. 25 speech -- and the White House is on board:
"Maybe not having a physical aisle separate us would be a good thing as we talk about the state of our union," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Thursday in response to a question about Udall's proposal. Traditionally, each party sits together separated by the House aisle during the president's speech.
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Now, the new proposal is gaining steam just one day after Barack Obama called for the nation to come together and bridge partisan divides in the wake of the Tucson, Ariz. shooting.
Udall released a letter Wednesday proposing the idea to his colleagues, saying "beyond custom, there is no rule or reason that on this night we should emphasize divided government, separated by party, instead of being seen united as a country." The seating arrangement was first floated this week by the think tank Third Way, which penned a letter to congressional leaders urging this and other unifying actions.
Might not help, but what will it hurt? Must be a slow news day for Washington to be 'buzzing' over this.
Answer by QuinnMae at 10:38 AM on Jan. 14, 2011
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Answer by DEpley at 10:59 AM on Jan. 14, 2011
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