Mitch McConnell Won’t Join Bipartisan Seating for State of the Union

The Senate minority leader won’t follow the across-the-aisle seating trend for Obama’s address.

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BY Michael Mcauliff
DAILY NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU

WASHINGTON - Not everyone will be playing nice with bipartisan seating arrangements at President Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) won't be moving. "I'm going to sit where I usually sit," McConnell said on Fox News Sunday. [See who donates the most money to McConnell.]

Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) hatched the idea of skipping the historically partisan seating as a way to show greater civility after the massacre in Tucson that killed six and injured 14, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Many in the GOP have embraced the idea. Sen. John McCain, who plans to sit with Udall, said he would also like the speech to be less like a partisan pep rally.

"It might be nice to cut back a little bit on all the jumping up and down," McCain (R-Ariz.) told CBS's Face the Nation. [The Year in Cartoons: 2010.]

"I frankly think the cheerleading side of it has detracted from the ability of any President - Republican or Democrat - to speak continuously to the American people."

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is going to sit with Nebraska GOP Sen. Tom Coburn, who nearly spiked the 9/11 health bill but cut a last-minute deal that allowed it to pass in December. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) plans to sit with Sen. John Thune, the South Dakotan regarded as a potential GOP candidate for President in 2012.