Roscoe Bartlett's date for SOTU: Nancy Pelosi
We posted earlier about Republicans and Democrats sitting together at President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night.
Now we learn that Rep. Roscoe Bartlett of Western Maryland, a member of the conservative Republican Study Committee and the new Tea Party Caucus, will be sitting with Democratic former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the House Republicans' No. 1 target in their successful midterm elections.
“I look forward to sitting between two lovely ladies, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Congresswoman Judy Chu," Bartlett said in a statement. "I also look forward with great hope that Congress and all Americans will listen to President Obama give another speech in the spirit of his address in Tucson.”
The Baltimore-born Pelosi, for her part, apparently turned down the invitation of House Republican Leader Eric Cantor to ask Bartlett.
"I thank @GOPLeader for his #SOTU offer, but I invited my friend Rep. Bartlett from MD yesterday & am pleased he accepted," she Tweeted.
Members of Congress are planning to break up the traditional seating plan for the State of the Union address – Republicans on one side, Democrats on the other – and sit with members of the opposite party.
The idea follows the shooting attack on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords this month that left six dead and 14 wounded; polls show it has broad public support.
Other Maryland-related pairings include Democratic Sen Barbara A. Mikulski and Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska; Democratic Rep. Elijah E. Cummings of Baltimore and Republican Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona and Republican Rep. Andy Haris and Democratic Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, both from Baltimore County.