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Barbara Lee among earliest SOTU ‘squatters’

Cox Media Group Washington correspondent Scott MacFarlane tweets that Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, and Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., are the first two members of Congress to arrive in the House chamber today to save seats for tonight’s State of the Union address.

Lee arrived eight hours early to camp out along the center aisle, according to MacFarlane’s tweets, “wearing midnight blue suit has folders of papers to occupy her during long wait in House chamber, saving prime seat.”

Lee’s office hasn’t yet responded to my inquiry of whether there’s something specific Lee intends to say to the president as he moves by. If I had to guess, I’d say it’ll have something to do with drone warfare and Lee’s ongoing effort to repeal the use-of-force authorization Congress passed in Sept. 2001. Of course, she’ll have to be rather succinct.

The Washington Post has a fun story today about congressional “squatters” who arrive many hours in advance to claim prime seats in order to claim five seconds of national television time with the President of the United States as he enters the chamber.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.