Sure, it's all about bipartisanship. Not to mention the perks of watching the Super Bowl at the White House with the first fan playing host.
President Barack Obama is inviting a group of lawmakers - some
Republicans, many Democrats, and a few from Pennsylvania and
Arizona - to join him for Sunday's championship game between the
Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals.
With no Chicago team for Obama to cheer, the president said he's
rooting for Pittsburgh against the "long-suffering" and "great
Cinderella story" Cardinals, and he wished the Cardinals the best.
Steelers owner Dan Rooney, a longtime Republican, endorsed
Obama's presidential bid and campaigned for him. Obama also noted
that Franco Harris, one of the most beloved former Steelers,
campaigned for him in Pittsburgh, too.
Five of the 15 lawmakers invited to join Obama are from
Pennsylvania, and two are from Arizona. There are four senators and
11 representatives. The group includes 11 Democrats, four
Republicans and three women. The White House released the guest
list on Friday.
Press secretary Robert Gibbs said the gathering is another step
in the president's continuing effort to reach out to lawmakers and
get to know them better in hopes of reducing the partisan rancor as
they work together on the people's business.
Since becoming president, Obama has met at the White House with
congressional leaders, traveled to Capitol Hill for private
sessions with House and Senate Republicans and invited a bipartisan
group of lawmakers to the executive mansion for cocktails.
The invited lawmakers are: Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pa.; Dick Durbin,
D-Ill.; Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; and Arlen Specter, R-Pa.; and Reps.
Elijah Cummings, D-Md.; Artur Davis, D-Ala.; Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn.;
Charlie Dent, R-Pa.; Mike Doyle, D-Pa.; Trent Franks, R-Ariz.; Raul
Grijalva, D-Ariz.; Paul Hodes, D-N.H.; Patrick Murphy, D-Pa.; Fred
Upton, R-Mich.; and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C.
Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, will play host to a
number of lawmakers at the Naval Observatory to watch the game.
Biden's office said the guests expected include Sens. Max
Baucus, D-MT; Tom Carper, D-Del; Kent Conrad, D-N.D., John Kerry,
D-Mass.; Bill Nelson, D-Fla,; and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. The
guests include several House members: Reps. Robert Brady, D-Pa.,
Jim Clyburn, D-S.C.; Steny Hoyer, D-Md. and John Larson, D-Ct.