The annual Presidential State of the Union Address, is arguably the most widely anticipated speech in politics. The State of the Union Address provides an update on the condition of the nation and outlines legislative efforts, that the United State’s President hopes to accomplish, with efforts that require the strategic cooperation of Congress. Since President Barack Obama’s 2011 State of the Union Address was just a few nights ago, there’s still buzz circulating around about the speech; along with the focus on the special guests who were in attendance.This article will highlight the attendees and guests to President Obama’s January 25, 2011 State of the Union Address.
With the annual State of the Union Address being the highlighted speech of the year for many presidents, it is probably the event, with the most recognizable political presence and attendance. The gathered audience for President Obama’s January 2011 State the Union Address, included most of The Supreme Court Justices, nearly the entire Congress from the House of Representatives and The Senate, almost all of the President’s Cabinet and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Ensuring The Safety and Continuity of American Government
Prior to each President’s State of the Union Address, one person who is appointed as the designated survivor, and is typically part of the President’s Cabinet, does not attend the Presidential speech. Instead they are at an undisclosed location away from the House Chamber, and will serve as the Acting United States President, in the rare event of catastrophic emergency, which kills the current President and many of the staff in the presidential line of succession. For the 2011 State of the Union Address, Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior was appointed in this role.
2011 State of the Union Address: A call for Civility
One of the most notable absences to the 2011 State of Union Address was Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who sustained a severe gunshot wound to the head, as the primary target of the tragic January 8, 2011 shooting rampage, during Giffords’ Congress on Your Corner event at a Tucson, Arizona Safeway grocery store. President Obama paid tribute to Gifford’s absence, in highlighting her empty chair, and offered encouragement for her recovery. In a symbolic gesture of remembrance, members of Congress wore black and white ribbons to honor, Congresswoman Giffords, the six deceased victims, and fourteen others who were wounded, along with the many heroes from the tragedy
This unfortunate event has sparked discussion to rein in the negative and violent tone of American politics. Since the shooting event, politicians and the public are offering a more conciliatory and civilized tone to the dialogue and partnerships of American politics in an attempt to resolve the nation’s biggest issues.The response of the beckoning call towards civility and unity in American Politics was evident in the, mixed seating arrangements from Members of Congress, in the House Chamber during President Obama’s 2011 State of the Union Address. In breaking from tradition, with the political parties (Republican and Democrat), Legislatures who typically sit amongst members of their own political party instead many members of Congress, from both houses, sat together with mixed ideological representation.
Notable Heroic Attendees of President Barack Obama’s 2011 State of the Union Address
In the efforts to recognize and honor the heroes and victims of the Tucson, Arizona shooting, President Obama extended an invitation to several notable people involved in the tragic event. This invitation included Daniel Hernandez, the 20 year old intern who quickly rushed to Gifford’s side after she was shot, and provided medical treatment until EMTS arrived; along with family of Christina Taylor Green their nine year old daughter, born on September 11, 2001, was unjustifiably shot and killed. President Obama also invited the medical team at the University Medical Center in Tucson, who provided renowned and lifesaving medical treatment Giffords and the other victims of the tragic shooting. These honorable attendees had the opportunity to sit next to Michelle Obama, in her box overlooking the House Floor.
Other notable and heroic guests in attendance to last night’s State of the Union Address included Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, who was awarded the military’s Medal of Honor, in November 2010, for his assistance with fellow troops during an ambush while on tour in Afghanistan. Also in attendance, was Brandon Fisher, the owner of Center Rock, a small manufacturing drill company in Pennsylvania. Fisher’s company provided their machinery and tools that proved to be instrumental in the successful rescue of the 33 Chilean miners in October 2010. During the State of the Union Address, President Obama referenced this small company that provided such an extraordinary service during a heroic rescue.
A Showing for President Obama’s Legislative Successes
The Obama’s also invited ordinary citizens who have benefited from the President’s legislative victories. Following the implementation of The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, this allowed for the successful creation of The Penny Ice Creamery a now popular local business that was the brainchild of Zachary Davis and Kendra Baker, from Santa Cruz, California. In October 2010, the business couple and their employees posted a YouTube “Thank You Video,” thanking President Obama for the Economic Stimulus Act. This video captured the attention of Vice President Joe Biden, in which he surprised the business owners, accompanied by their staff, with a phone call, thanking them for their contributions ot their city.
The passage of President Obama’s historic and controversial Health Care bill, has already allowed for some people to receive the timely benefits of this legislation. To highlight the early benefits and successfulness of the health care reform bill, several patients who are beneficiaries were in attendance to last night’s State of the Union Address.
This article provided a short overview of political attendees along with special guests invitations to President Obama’s 2011 State of the Union Address. There are certainly other guests to receive the honorable invitation to attend this annually highlighted event.