Obama asks Newtown mom to deliver weekly address

President Obama has asked the mother of a six-year-old killed in last December’s massacre in Newtown, Conn., to stand in for him in addressing the nation this weekend.

Francine Wheeler, whose son, Ben, was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, will deliver the president’s weekly address that is aired on television and radio, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters on Friday.

“Nobody has a more important and powerful perspective on the issue than the families who have lost loved ones,” Carney said. Of the president, Carney added, “He believes their voices and resolve have been critical with the progress we’ve seen in the Senate.”

This is a rare occurrence as Obama typically delivers the weekly address himself. Carney said that Vice President Biden has given the address in lieu of Obama at least once prior during this presidency.

Philip Rucker is a national political correspondent for The Washington Post, where he has reported since 2005.
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