WASHINGTON -- The secretary for one of the world's wealthiest men and the wife of late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs are among those invited by the White House to attend the State of the Union address.
The State of the Union guest list has become an annual rite, with the first lady's box taking on the sort of gravitas shown at the Academy Awards' Red Carpet ceremony. The guests often have ties to a proposal or initiative the president will outline in the address.
Among this year's guests are Debbie Bosanek, the longtime secretary for billionaire Warren Buffett. Obama frequently cites Buffett's complaint that the nation's tax code is unfair because he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary, and was expected to do so again Tuesday.
The White House said Laurene Powell Jobs, the wife of late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, would also attend Obama's prime-time address. So will Richard Cordray, the new consumer watchdog whom Obama installed using a controversial recess appointment, and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who has fought bank misconduct in the mortgage market.
Adam Rapp, a cancer survivor from Fall Creek Township, Ill. was also expected to join Michelle Obama in the first lady's box Tuesday night. The White House said Rapp has benefitted from Obama's health care overhaul.
Mark Kelly, former astronaut and husband of outgoing Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, will attend as well. Giffords is resigning from Congress to focus on her recovery after being shot, but will be on the House floor during the State of the Union.
The Navy SEAL who commanded the risky, top-secret raid that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden last year is another guest. Adm. William McRaven now heads the military's Special Operations Command.
Other guests include:
- Sgt. Ashleigh Berg; Malibu, Calif.; served two tours of duty in Iraq.
- Alicia Boler-Davis; Detroit; plant manager at General Motors Orion Assembly.
- Jackie Bray; King's Mountain, N.C.; process operator at Siemens Charlotte Energy Hub.
- Mayor Julián Castro; San Antonio, Tex.
- Bruce Cochrane; Lincolnton, N.C.; president and CEO of Lincolnton Furniture.
- Sara Ferguson; Parkside, Pa.; literacy and math teacher at Columbus Elementary.
- Dr. Hiroyuki Fujita; Cleveland; founder, president and CEO of Quality Electrodynamics.
- Mahala Greer; Denver; student at University of Colorado Denver.
- Adrienne Howard; San Diego; military spouse.
- Mike Krieger; San Francisco; co-founder of Instagram.
- Lorelei Kilker; Brighton, Colo.; analytical chemist.
- Joan Milligan; Orlando, Fla.; refinanced home through Obama's Home Affordable Refinance Program.
- Amber Morris; Virginia Beach, Va.; responded to White House Twitter question during last year's payroll tax debate.
- Juan Jose Redín; North Hollywood, Calif.; attorney.
- Bryan Ritterby; Holland, Mich.; lab technician.
- Col. Ginger Wallace, McLean, Va.; Air Force intelligence officer