Maxine Waters and David Dreier share some common ground
Perhaps this will bump up the TV ratings: liberal Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) and conservative Rep. David Dreier (R-San Dimas), who are far apart politically, will sit together for President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night.
A number of members of California's famously fractured congressional delegation, which last held a bipartisan meeting nearly a year ago, plan to sit with members of the opposing party in response to the calls for civility in hyper-partisan Washington.
"I thought, well, why not?'' Waters said after receiving Dreier's invitation to sit with him on the Democratic side of the House chamber. "Let's see what this act of bipartisanship means tonight, and more importantly, tomorrow.''
"We have even coordinated our outfits for this special occasion,'' Waters added. She plans to wear a red jacket. He's wearing a GOP tie with elephants. Rep. Jane Harman (D-Venice) will also sit next to Dreier.
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) will sit next to Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), an opportunity she could use to work further on selling the House Transportation Committee chairman on Los Angeles' request for federal aid to accelerate expansion of its public transit system.
California's two newest House members -- Democratic Rep. Karen Bass of Los Angeles and Republican Jeff Denham of Atwater -- plan to sit together. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) hasn't lined up a member of the opposing party to sit with, but plans to sit himself down on the Republican side of the chamber. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco plans to sit with Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.); Rep. Judy Chu (D-El Monte) will be on Bartlett's other side. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) will be watching the speech from her home in San Francisco, where she is recovering from knee surgery.
-- Richard Simon in Washington