Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


A State-by-State Historical Snapshot of Michelle Obama's SOTU Guest Lists

Bookmark and Share

Arizona is just the 15th most populous state, but 13 of its residents have been guests of the First Lady during President Obama's first five addresses - highest in the nation

michelleobama11.jpgIn attendance tonight at President Barack Obama's fifth State of the Union Address will be 24 non-administration guests in the balcony boxes beside the First Lady.

Residents from 13 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are represented with Arizona leading the way with five, California, D.C., Massachusetts, Michigan, and Minnesota with two, and Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, New York, Oklahoma, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Utah with one.

Overall, 115 non-administration guests of the First Lady have been in attendance during President Obama's five such addresses since 2010.

So which states have seen its residents most frequently invited to join the First Lady over the last half-decade?

Since President Obama's first such address in 2010, the nation's most heavily populated state, California, takes a close second place behind neighboring Arizona .

Arizona, which is only the 15th most populous state according to 2013 estimates, has had the most guests over the past five years with 13.

Appearing in the balcony tonight from Arizona are physician assistant Amanda Shelley (Gilbert), teenager Joey Hudy (Anthem), 'undocumented' Americans advocate Cristian Avila (Phoenix), and US Army Ranger Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg and his father Craig (Phoenix).

Professional basketball player Jason Collins (the first male player in major American team sports to come out openly as gay) and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee will be representing the Golden State - home to 12 FLOTUS guests since 2010.

North Carolina has had the third most guests with seven followed by the District of Columbia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia with six each and Colorado, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin with four.

New York, the third most populous state in the nation, has been only represented by two guests across these five years (Corning CEO Wendell Weeks of Corning, New York in 2011 and student Estiven Rodriguez of New York City this year).

Through the first five State of the Union Addresses delivered by Obama, the First Lady has not yet invited guests from 18 states.

From the Democratic column: Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

From the Republican column: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

South Carolina and Utah are represented for the first time this year for an Obama SOTU with former Air Force servicewoman and single mother Sabrina Simone Jenkins from Charleston and Nicholas & Company President and CEO Peter Mouskondis from Salt Lake City in the balcony.

Overall, 69 percent of the Michelle Obama's guests have hailed from states carried by her husband during the previous election (76 of 110, excluding administration and governmental officials and residents of U.S. territories). (Note: Obama carried states in both cycles that cumulatively exceeded 60 percent of the nation's population).

One variable that has been nearly equal however, is the selection of guests based on gender.

Since 2010, a total of 59 males and 56 females have been guests of Ms. Obama (excluding administration staff and Jill Biden).

Note: This report has been updated to reflect the late additions to the First Lady's guest list that were announced this afternoon.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Radel Resigns with 2nd Shortest US House Tenure in Florida History
Next post: From Red to Blue

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Which States Have the Longest and Shortest Election Day Voting Hours?

Residents in some North Dakota towns have less than half as many hours to cast their ballots as those in New York State.

Political Crumbs

Mary Burke: English First?

While multiculturalism and bilingualism are increasingly en vogue in some quarters as the world seemingly becomes a smaller place, one very high profile 2014 Democratic candidate does not shy away from the fact that she only speaks one language: English. In an attempt to highlight her private sector credentials working for Trek Bicycle, Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial nominee Mary Burke boasts on her campaign bio page how she made great strides in international business dealings...while only speaking English: "Despite not speaking a single foreign language, she established sales and distribution operations in seven countries over just three years." Note: According to 2010 Census data, nearly half a million Wisconsinites over five years old speak a language other than English at home, or 8.7 percent, while 4.6 percent of Badger State residents do not speak English at all.


Does My Key Still Work?

Much has been made about Charlie Crist's political transformation from Republican to independent to Democrat en route to winning the Florida GOP and Democratic gubernatorial nominations over a span of eight years. Party-switching aside, Crist is also vying to become just the second Florida governor to serve two interrupted terms. Democrat William Bloxham was the first - serving four year terms from 1881 to 1885 and then 1897 to 1901. Florida did not permit governors serving consecutive terms for most of its 123 years prior to changes made in its 1968 constitution. Since then four have done so: Democrats Reubin Askew, Bob Graham, and Lawton Chiles and Republican Jeb Bush.


more POLITICAL CRUMBS

Humphrey School Sites
CSPG
Humphrey New Media Hub

Issues />

<div id=
Abortion
Afghanistan
Budget and taxes
Campaign finances
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Education
Energy
Environment
Foreign affairs
Gender
Health
Housing
Ideology
Immigration
Iraq
Media
Military
Partisanship
Race and ethnicity
Reapportionment
Redistricting
Religion
Sexuality
Sports
Terrorism
Third parties
Transportation
Voting