Where They’re Sitting For SOTU

Published January 25, 2011

Surely everyone on Capitol Hill is scrambling to find his or her date tonight, as President Obama delivers his second State of the Union address. (The “first” one, right after inauguration, was actually the “fake SOTU” address. Remember?)

Democratic Sen. Mark Udall has recommended politicians of both parties break with tradition and sit together. I called around to see where our 12 federal legislators plan to sit. Not all of them have responded.

Sen. John Kerry: He was coy. “Well, if all the dates haven’t been taken up, I’ll try to find someone to sit with — but I think the more important thing is frankly to come together not in where we sit, but where we vote,” he told WBUR’s Radio Boston.

Sen. Scott Brown: The Globe reports Brown will sit with Delaware Democrat Tom Carper.

Brown and Carper bonded last year during a congressional trip to overseas war zones, shortly after Brown was elected last January. During the trip, the two senators worked out in military gyms and had a late-night dinner at a Marriott in Islamabad, where they discussed their own military service, how they met their spouses, and their children (Brown has two daughters, Carper two sons).

Rep. Michael Capuano, 8th District: “Capuano doesn’t have plans to sit with anyone in particular this evening,” said Alison Mills, his spokeswoman. “He always stands in the back, and that’s what he plans to do tonight.”

Rep. Niki Tsongas, 5th District: Going alone.

Rep. Barney Frank, 4th District: Won’t be in attendance. Frank is in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum.

Rep. Jim McGovern, 3rd District: No plans to pick a seat mate.

There is no seating chart, I’m told, but the Senate does get to reserve seats.

Update: I should do a better job reading the Globe, because apparently they had the same idea. Filling in the blanks:

Representative Richard E. Neal, a Springfield Democrat, is planning to sit with Representative Jim Duncan, a Tennessee Republican. Their offices are next to each other and they’ve been friends for years. Representative John F. Tierney, a Salem Democrat, has arranged to sit with Representative Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, according to Tierney’s office. Newcomer William R. Keating, a Quincy Democrat, has no plans to sit with any particular Republican.