Republican and Democratic lawmakers traditionally sit separately during
State of the Union addresses. But as calls for an end to partisan
squabbling mounted after Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in Arizona,
the centrist group Third Way--and then Senator Mark Udall--proposed that
the two parties sit together when President Obama delivers his address
The suggestion has turned this year's State of the Union into a "massive Congressional date night," as AOL's Annie Groer put it,
featuring political odd couples like New York Reps. Anthony Weiner and
Peter King and Senators Charles Schumer and Tom Coburn. On ABC's This
Week, Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison admitted she doesn't yet have a "date" but stayed suspiciously quiet when Democratic Senator Kent Conrad said
he was available. Awkward!
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, however, isn't in the market for a Democratic buddy. On Fox News Sunday, McConnell told Chris Wallace that he would sit at the Republican leadership table, as he usually does:
More important than the appearance of sitting together is what we do together. And the American people are more interested in actual accomplishments on a bipartisan basis here in the next six to nine months than they are with the seating arrangement at the State of the Union.
You can watch Hutchison spurn Conrad, and Democratic
Senator Joe Lieberman confess that he always waited too long to get
dates for high school proms, below, about 11 minutes in: