President Barack Obama will deliver his fifth State of the Union address on Tuesday, in which he will talk for an extended period about the priorities he’d like Congress to act upon over the next year. The American public is largely in agreement that the president’s speech won’t actually mean a whole lot, but his words won’t be the only things carrying a message in the House chamber this evening. The president, first lady Michelle Obama and congressional lawmakers all have invited guests, many of whom are intended to represent political initiatives important to the people who brought them.
On Monday, the White House announced the initial round of guests to be seated in Michelle Obama’s box. The list includes Jason Collins, the first openly gay NBA player; two survivors of the Boston Marathon attack in April; Gary Bird, a fire chief who helped usher his town of Moore, Okla. through a devastating tornado and Joey Hudy, a 16-year-old entrepreneur and inventor of a world-famous marshmallow cannon. A second round was announced early Tuesday, and that list is expected to be finalized later.
While all of the guests invited by the Obamas undoubtedly both deserve their spots and also fulfill any political criteria that may have been attached to them by the White House, here are our picks of people who should have made the Obamas’ guest list.
To see the list, click here.