Apparently that's kind of like the seating chart for a president's State of the Union speech. A wild scramble ensued last night and seniority does have its perks.(Apparently the "good" aisle seats to be able to glad-hand on national teeevee the president as he walks in and out of the House Chambers require staking 'em out 12 hours or so beforehand.)
One of those on the aisle was Sen. Kit Bond, who was next to Penn. Sen. Arlen Specter on the Republican side. His bipartisan display was a blue paisley tie.
On the Democratic aisle side no, that wasn't Congresman Emanuel Cleaver mauling President Bush last night and saying he was going to pray for him. That was his near twin, Rep. Sanford Bishop.
A spokesman for Cleaver said Cleaver sat dead center in the Democratic side of the House chambers. Cleaver grabbed a salad beforehand and got to the chambers early. He said he couldn't imagine the pressure the president faced last night.
Afterward, as Cleaver was on the telephone doing an interview with KCUR-FM, he waved at Sen. Claire McCaskill as she prepared to do an interview with KMBC.
During the speech, McCaskill was several rows back from Sen. Hillary Clinton, which got her on television a bit. But apparently even closer to her and thus getting more camera time was Congressman Dennis Moore, who is today on The New York Times Web site thanks to this picture.
He may be in the minority now, but Rep. Roy Blunt was one of the first to make his way to Bush after the speech. Cameras caught him broadly smiling his accolades to Bush. Right behind Blunt, but not seeking Bush out for any back slapping would be Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott, who blamed Bush in part for him losing the title of majority leader. Lott was smiling jovially to everyone else on his way out.
Getting the biggest post-speech interview from our neck of the woods was McCaskill who charmed MSNBC's Joe Scarborough. (Check it out here). She was rewarded with almost 10 minutes of airtime, a lifetime by teevee standards. The best part of the interview was when she joked about the difficulties in knowing when to stand and clap and when to sit stoically.
"It's a mess!" she joked, adding it was "silly" the whole "game" about when to stand up.
Posted by DeAnn Smith