Every president since Ronald Reagan has used the State of the Union as an opportunity to honor some distinguished Americans (and, occasionally, foreign friends of America). It’s become a tradition for the First Lady to share her guest box with a few mostly-ordinary people who’ve done something extraordinary.
Reagan started it with a man who, upon seeing an airliner crash into a freezing river, dove in and pulled a passenger to safety. Other notable guests have included entrepeneurs, soldiers, foreign dignataries, and sports stars.
Last night was no exception. Obama’s special guests were Officers Kimberly Munley and Mark Todd, the two heroic cops who stopped the Fort Hood shooter
We know this because that’s who was announced to be the guests, and viewers might have caught glimpses of police uniforms during the cutaways to the first lady for her reactions.
Because President Obama didn’t bother to give them a “shout out” during the speech.
Maybe the officers in question asked the president to not single them out, not to draw attention to them, not to invite the Congress (and the nation) to take a moment to honor their heroism on that day when an army major (and, by an astonishingly unpredictable coincidence, a Muslim who’d been in close contact with a radical Islamist cleric) opened fire and killed 13 troops.
But I find it far more likely that if they didn’t want attention that much, they’d have respectfully declined the invitation. I find it a bit more plausible that President Obama — who made so much of the speech about himself, as it had more “I’s” than Argus or a Lovecraftian monstrosity or Simpsons mutated animal — simply figured that being in His presence was honor enough, and he didn’t even think of sharing the limelight of his first State of the Union address.
Anyway, officers, hope you had a good time last night, and got to do the tourist thing in DC. ‘Cuz you certainly didn’t get the honor you were due from the Chief Executive. If he’d said something nice about you, he might have had to drop one of the dozen or so “blame Bush” lines he salted into his speech.