Michelle Rhee Among First Lady's Guests
Monday, January 28, 2008; 10:57 AM
D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee is among the two dozen guests invited to attend tonight's State of the Union speech with first lady Laura Bush, the White House announced today.
Rhee will join an assembly brought together, as is typical, for its symbolic importance. The group expected to hear President Bush's last State of the Union address tonight includes members of the armed forces, a jazz trumpeter and educator from New Orleans, a woman who nearly lost her home in a mortgage foreclosure, and a Tanzanian woman who benefited from a U.S. AIDS initiative in her country.
Rhee was appointed by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) last summer to take over the D.C. school system. The biographical material released by the White House also cites her work leading the New Teacher Project, a nonprofit that helps school districts recruit and train teachers.
Along with family members, the first lady's guest list includes former senator Robert J. Dole (R-Kan.) and former health and human services secretary Donna E. Shalala, who are co-chairing an effort to reform veterans' care and national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley.
But the emphasis is on people like James Barnard, chief financial officer of a Michigan machine shop that benefited from Bush tax cuts in 2003, and Army Staff Sgt. Craig Charloux, injured in a September raid on al-Qaeda militants in Diyala province. Charloux is one of six members of the armed forces on the White House guest list.