Bush Says State of the Union Will Mostly Address Economy; Guest List Begs to Differ

Bush State of the Union
Photo: Getty Images

Are you guys as excited for President George Bush's State of the Union Address tonight as we are? Hoo-ah! Wait. You realized there still is a president, even though everybody's busy trying to pick who the next one will be, right? We know, it's hard to remember. And even though there are primaries tomorrow, tonight belongs to current president George Bush. Early reports say that his address will largely focus on the economy, which is probably what most ordinary citizens are hoping he will talk about. "Expect few surprises and no big initiatives," says the Associated Press. Housing reform will come up, press secretary Dana Perino says, as well as health care and veteran's care, alternative energy sources, climate change, faith-based initiatives, and conditional troop withdrawal in Iraq.

But today the list of Presidential guests has been released for the event. These are the people who sit up with Laura Bush in the balcony, who are generally alluded to in the text of the speech (to much unilateral applause). In addition the lovely Bush twins and that sexpot Lynn Cheney, we've summarized the guest list for you.

• Seven of the 21 guests are either wounded soldiers from the war in Iraq or officials or doctors who aid them.
• A homemaker who used presidential aid programs to help pull her family out of mortgage debt.
• A small business owner who used Bush tax breaks to expand his business.
• A mother of a political prisoner in Cuba.
• A city administrator in Kansas who received federal aid to help put his town back together after a 2007 tornado.
• A nurse who tended a patient whose life was saved after she rushed to the hospital upon detecting heart-attack symptoms that had been described by First Lady Laura Bush on television.
• A New Orleans Jazz musician.
• The director of an advocacy organization for Latino women.
•An advocate for the African Burial Ground National Monument.
• A mother with AIDS from Tanzania who gave birth to an HIV-free baby because of Bush health aid programs, and now counsels other women.
• The chancellor of the DC public schools system.
• The president or the American University of Afghanistan.
• A shooting victim from last year's Virginia Tech massacre.

Looking over the impressive list, only two of Bush's guests were invited for reasons related to the economy. Much more heavily emphasized is Bush's influence overseas, whether it be through the success of the Iraq troop surge or his continued efforts to battle AIDS in Africa and promote education in Afghanistan. Which, to be fair, makes sense. After all, Bush has been talking about how America's economy is plunging into the gutter all week. The man deserves a break!

Guest List for First Lady’s Box for Bush’s State of the Union Speech
[The Page/Time]