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Who should sit next to Michelle Obama at State of the Union address?

When President Ronald Reagan invited Lenny Skutnik, who saved the life of a passenger after Air Florida Flight 90 crashed into the Potomac River, to sit in the gallery during his State of the Union address in 1982, he created a practice of inviting heroes, newsmakers and historical legends that has been continued ever since. Past guests have included Rosa Parks, Sammy Sosa, and Nancy Reagan.

Who do you think should be invited this year?

By Jodi Westrick  |  January 21, 2011; 1:52 PM ET  | Category:  National Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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This shouldn't even be a choice. Sgt Guinta deserves that seat.

Posted by: Desertdiva1 | January 21, 2011 4:19 PM

It's got to be Hernandez. An intern barely a week into the job who saves the life of a Congresswoman? Give the kid the seat.

Posted by: dkp01 | January 21, 2011 4:20 PM

Agree that it must be Hernandez. A hero public servant. It's all good.

Posted by: conchfc | January 21, 2011 5:32 PM

"Wife" of Gabriel Giffords? LOL

Posted by: AdventurerVA | January 21, 2011 7:17 PM

Has anyone asked the First Lady? Why all this protocol? We no longer operate under Royal Charters, and she, whoever she is, is not -- and good for her -- the Queen of England, who, of course, cannot be allowed any choice as to whom she should allow to sit by her, at least, in public, and perhaps elsewhere, too, even now.

Who started this rubbish, anyway? Reagan, you say. Well, he did worse than that, but it's still pretty bad stuff. Just stop it.

Posted by: morphex | January 22, 2011 4:35 AM

Please let Sarah Palin sit next to her. The contrast between the first lady and her would be striking to see.

Posted by: 8-Man2 | January 22, 2011 8:51 AM

Yes, it should be Mrs. Giffords' wife.

Posted by: llrllr | January 22, 2011 9:49 AM

I could care less!

Posted by: Birdmom78 | January 22, 2011 10:23 AM

Reverend Wright.

Posted by: DCer1 | January 22, 2011 10:24 AM

Surely someone doesn't deserve a national honor because they are gay. Surely some man who is a wife to a Congresswoman can find another seat. Surely the Democrats have milked the Gifford tragedy for all the newsprint they can get.
One hero is on the list. Give it to Guinta.

Posted by: drzimmern1 | January 22, 2011 12:18 PM

Will not watch Obama continue his tax and spend agenda as he spins his weave of lies.

Posted by: topgun97365 | January 22, 2011 12:19 PM

I would have multiple delegations seated around the First Lady.

An Affordable Health Care Act delegation. One part consisting of representatives of those who have benefitted from the provisions of the Affordable Health Care Act that have become effective. A second part consisting of representatives whose health care needs will be better met when additional provisions of the Act become effective.

A second delegation consisting of those who have lost their homes to foreclosure, youth and others who need to enter the work force but are unable to find work, those who need to re-enter the work force but are unable to do so, and the long-term unemployed, and representatives of the hundreds of thousands of homeless school children.

A third delegation consisting of those who have suffered from a lack of effective regulation -- e.g., wives and children of miners who were killed because of repetitive and multiple safety violations, family members who have lost a loved one to unsafe food and products, Main Street businesses unable to get credit because of Wall Street.

A fourth group would consist of representativies of those who lost a family member or had a family member injured when the Minneapolis bridge collapsed (a reminder of the perils arising from the crumbling of our roads and bridges) and of those who had their homes destroyed when gas lines broke (another facet of our infrastructure that is in need to rebuilding).

A fifth group would consist of family members of those in uniform who have suffered the impairment of their trooper because of repeated deployments to the wars.

A sixth group representing the several millions of American families who have lost a family member from or had a family member serious from gun violence.

Posted by: jimb | January 22, 2011 12:55 PM

Not me. Give my slots to the Salahi's.

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | January 22, 2011 1:29 PM

It's Sgt. Giunta (not Guinta), and there are quite a few previous Medal of Honor recipients who not only were alive when they received the Medal but also still are.

But however sloppily you phrased his poll choice, he's the biggest and most humble hero on this list.

Posted by: Itzajob | January 22, 2011 2:32 PM

How about this: Giunta on one side, Hernandez on the other? First Lady's got two sides, after all. The only reason I'm not recommending Mark Kelly is because I bet he'd probably prefer to be with his wife rather than go to the SOTU.

Posted by: dkp01 | January 22, 2011 3:34 PM

Aretha Franklin and Rosie O'Donnell

Posted by: 2012frank | January 22, 2011 4:22 PM

I can understand why someone wanted to seat Sarah Palin next to the first lady so people see the contrast; the first lady so outshines here in every possible way but that is a place of honor not an opporunity for the First Lady to show up someone.

Posted by: withersb | January 22, 2011 5:26 PM

Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO.

Posted by: ejs2 | January 22, 2011 5:54 PM

Ideally, Rodney Dangerfield, but there are some people one respects too much to put on the spot. Any living descendant of Tommy (the torquer) Torquemada would be a second choice that I wouldn't stay up nights worrying about. No pain, no gain. ;)

Posted by: jbksss | January 22, 2011 7:27 PM

Someone blind with no sense of smell.

Posted by: 2xy4k9 | January 22, 2011 8:55 PM

Keith Olbermann !!

Posted by: james_m_reilly1 | January 22, 2011 11:08 PM

George Soros

Posted by: SUBLIMEWOODY | January 22, 2011 11:24 PM

How is Hernandez a "hero... public servant?" He is a doctor who did his job, and who was paid for so doing. Did he do his job well? Apparently yes. That doesn't make him a hero.
If the purpose of the gathering is truly to get a sense of the state of the Union, who cares and what does it matter who sits next to her? Why, actually, does she even need to be there... other than to add to the grandstanding and spectacle of the whole thing. Do it on radio, and the "problem" is solved. At the same time, the possibility of people telling the truth from the floor will also be eliminated. The state of the Union? Scary.
There... I've eliminated the need for the event altogether!

Posted by: beefeater2 | January 22, 2011 11:34 PM

After Mr. Obama's shameful misuse of a memorial service as a campaign platform ,maybe Mr. Obama should sit with Mrs. Obama and let the Medal of Honor recipient tell us the real State of this Nation.
At least he really did earn his bling and we know his SSN is not a curious one from Conneticut.

A Credible voice should speak.
Folks are worn out with incredible.

Posted by: dottydo | January 23, 2011 12:43 AM

Obama's cheerleaders at MSNBC - Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Ed Schultz, Rachel Maddow, and Lawrence O'Donnell.

Posted by: RedRose1 | January 23, 2011 4:11 AM

beefeater2, Daniel Hernandez isn't a doctor. He's an intern. His job wasn't to provide medical relief or attention; most likely, it's to field phone calls. I do agree that the SOTU is too much pomp; much as I like Obama, I wish he would do what his predecessors didn't, and report it old-school by just sending a letter to Congress.

Posted by: dkp01 | January 23, 2011 5:56 AM

Why should anyone be punished like that???

Posted by: highwaybluesoccer | January 23, 2011 11:32 AM

The Obamas' choice of Mr. Hernandez for this highest honor is disappointing, especially given that they already accorded him the same honor at the memorial service in Tucson.

While Mr. Hernandez is certainly to be commended for his level-headedness and compassion in taking care of Rep. Giffords after she was shot, his actions were not particularly brave or heroic. They pale in comparison to Sgt. Giunta's, and I daresay, those of other American heros the President's staff could have found.

Posted by: Itzajob | January 24, 2011 12:13 PM

Rush Limbaugh in drag.

Posted by: elwoll | January 24, 2011 2:23 PM

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