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Michelle Obama picks disaster heroes, gay athlete as speech guests

(Reuters) - Heroes of the Boston Marathon bombing, a firefighter who led the rescue response to an Oklahoma tornado, and an openly gay basketball player will be among U.S. first lady Michelle Obama's guests at the State of the Union address on Tuesday.

The White House uses Mrs. Obama's seating area in the chamber of the House of Representatives during her husband's annual speech to Congress to highlight people and issues that are important to her and the administration.

A Washington, D.C. teacher and the youngest intern at Intel Corp will also join the first lady, Vice President Joe Biden's wife, Dr. Jill Biden, and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett in the box on Tuesday, the White House said.

Below are the names and descriptions of the guests the White House has released so far:

1) Carlos Arredondo and Jeff Bauman of Boston

Arredondo, wearing a white cowboy hat, was photographed helping a severely injured Bauman during last year's bombing of the Boston Marathon. The picture became a hopeful symbol of the devastating attack. Bauman lost both of his legs. The two men have become close friends, the White House said.

2) Gary Bird, fire chief in Moore, Oklahoma

Bird led the rescue response to the tornado, which struck Moore, killing 25 people including children. "Fire Chief Gary Bird represents all of those who rallied together to help the community of Moore, Oklahoma - firefighters, police officers, teachers, neighbors - in its greatest time of need," the White House said.

3) Jason Collins - basketball player

Veteran basketball player Jason Collins announced last year that he was gay. A 12-year player in the National Basketball Association, he became the first active athlete from any of the four major U.S. men's professional sports leagues to come out publicly as gay.

4) Joey Hudy, 16, intern at Intel Corp

Hudy met President Obama when he was 14 at a White House science fair in 2012 and impressed him with his "extreme marshmallow cannon." Now 16, he is the youngest intern at U.S. chip manufacturer Intel Corp.

5) Kathy Hollowell-Makle, a teacher in Washington, DC

Hollowell-Makle was the 2013 District of Columbia public school teacher of the year. "By the school year's end, more than 90 percent of her students demonstrate early literacy at proficient or advanced levels and last year, more than 80 percent of her students advanced two or more reading levels," the White House said.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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tgarcia201 January 27 2014 at 11:39 PM


Flag Reply +8 rate up
charles brassell January 27 2014 at 7:33 PM

she looks like she just got kicked out of churches chicken

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1 reply
lintets6 charles brassell January 27 2014 at 8:05 PM

racist ass hole

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
wfischl lintets6 January 27 2014 at 8:14 PM

if bill maur can get away with such crude remarks why are YOU so bitter???

Flag +4 rate up
ehumme8284 January 27 2014 at 7:33 PM

WHATS going on?

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
hopelives123 ehumme8284 January 27 2014 at 8:36 PM

Obama shoulda married a Hawaain girl.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
mediadad4us January 27 2014 at 7:36 PM

like she gives a hoot....

Flag Reply +15 rate up
1 reply
lintets6 mediadad4us January 27 2014 at 8:10 PM

What proof have you got that she doesn't. It really gets on my nerves, when other presidents were in office , they had their " hanger ons " ie famous people ,singers ,actors, etc, I don't remember any of them getting the level of hate that the Obama's receive. Wow and I thought this country was making some head way , and don't bother telling me race has nothing to do with. This is still America.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
5 replies
flick78 January 27 2014 at 7:39 PM

where are our war hero's ?? where are our educators?? where are our police and firefighters? these clowns are a sorry excuse for our leaders.

Flag Reply +16 rate up
2 replies
Gary A. Skogebo flick78 January 27 2014 at 8:13 PM

They have no respect for them, that is why they never call on any TRUE American heroes. Such people would only serve to show what poor excuses the Obama's are for anything worthy.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
jestindam flick78 January 27 2014 at 8:25 PM

Hate is a powerful drug. So is bigotry. I doesn't matter to you who she or the president chose, you'd still complain.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
3 replies
thechargerdude January 27 2014 at 7:52 PM

Mrs. Obama...Why is it ok for Bill Maher to call Sarah Palin a 'C'...But it's not ok for Rush Limbaugh to call Sandra Fluke an 'S'? Please explain...

Flag Reply +20 rate up
rockymtn1500 January 27 2014 at 12:41 PM

For someone who has never been elected to anything she appears to have much power in the political arena and elsewhere, I wonder why ?

Flag Reply +5 rate up
1 reply
defensearms rockymtn1500 January 27 2014 at 12:47 PM

break from being a minority?

Flag Reply +1 rate up
evansd141 January 27 2014 at 8:03 PM

Why is this Bitty never happy? She spends our tax dollars like there is a never ending supply for her vacations. Yet never a thanks to us. Get this mooch out of there.

Flag Reply +19 rate up
lesrob60 January 27 2014 at 8:04 PM

Does anyone know if the obamas have any friends or even a friend? This is a serious question , I have never heard of friends before 08.

Flag Reply +11 rate up
ringmasterigs January 27 2014 at 7:31 PM

I would rather have a golden ticket to American Idol than a ticket to this circus.

Flag Reply +14 rate up
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