First guests: State of the Union issues
Most guests invited to sit in the first lady's box during the State of the Union represent a point the president wants to make through his speech. Here is a breakdown of the people who sat with first lady Michelle Obama during President Obama’s four previous annual addresses to Congress — and why they were there:
Hover over the photo or the guest list on the left to learn more about why each person was invited:
- Political figures
- Stimulus and bailout
- Jobs and economy
- Mass shootings
- Military, police and first responders
- Health care
- Social issues:
Gay rights, equal pay, immigration and voting rights
2013 State of the Union
On Feb. 12, 2013. Most guests represented health care and social issues.
2012 State of the Union
On Jan. 24, 2012. Most guests represented jobs and the economy.
2011 State of the Union
On Jan. 25, 2011. Most guests represented education and mass shootings.
2010 State of the Union
On Jan. 27, 2010. Most guests represented education and police and the military.
2009 Joint Address to Congress
On Feb. 24, 2009. Most guests represented education and police and the military.
SOURCE: White House, Post archives. GRAPHIC: Darla Cameron, Karen Yourish, Kat Downs and Todd Lindeman - The Washington Post. Published Feb. 12, 2013
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