State of the Union: Giffords' team breaks Twitter silence for aide who will sit with Michelle ObamaBy Richard Sisk
January 26, 2011
WASHINGTON -- Wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords rallied Tuesday for a shout-out to the intern who save her life - a young man who scored a seat next to First Lady Michelle Obama.
"From the entire Giffords team: Happy 21st Birthday Daniel Hernandez! Sounds like you have fun plans tonight :)," Giffords' Twitter page blared ahead of President Obama's State of the Union address.
Hernandez, who tended to Giffords in the moments after she was shot in the head during a shooting spree at a Tucson, Ariz., shopping center, rated a seat for his action next to the First Lady.
In the aftermath of the deadly rampage, Hernandez agreed to swoop into New York Wednesday to tout Mayor Bloomberg's plans to crack down on illicit handguns.
Giffords' assassination attempt prompted many members of Congress to toss aside their partisan ties and sit with members of the opposite party for the big speech - a show of solidarity and unity in the aftermath of the shooting.
Reps. Anthony Weiner (D-Queens) and Peter King (R-L.I.) were primed to put to the test the kumbaya idea of Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) to have Republicans and Democrats sit together to show respect for Giffords and other shooting victims.
The coupling of Weiner and King, who lit up the airwaves last year with their screaming match over the Zadroga bill, was ordered by the formidable Rosemary King, the Long Island Republican's wife.
The two of them should shut up, Mrs. King said, and then "You two loudmouths should sit together."
Weiner will be venturing onto the GOP side of the aisle to sit with King. "He's going to be my seatmate and my security detail," Weiner said.
Sitting with the voluble Sen. Charles Schumer will be Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). "My problem will be keeping him in his seat," Coburn joked on MSNBC.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has filled her dance card with a prospective GOP presidential runner, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.).
Some rookie members of Congress had so many offers that they were turning down dates.
Rep. Michael Grimm (R-S.I.) had to tell Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) that "I'm already spoken for." He was sitting with Rep. Gregory Meeks, a Queens Democrat.