Senator Ben Nelson says Tuesday night’s seating arrangement during President Obama’s State of the Union Address suits the need of the Congress. He sat with fellow Nebraska members of Congress. They even shared a chuckle or two.
“I enjoyed sitting with Senator Johanns and Congressman Fortenberry and Congressman Lee Terry. We didn’t see Adrian (Smith) or he would have certainly been welcome to sit with us as well. I think he preferred to sit with us in case the experience he had a year ago sitting next to Congressman Joe Wilson who had some unfortunate comments to the President so we were joking about it, checking to see if he was sitting over there to see if it would happen again.”
Senator Nelson says he has a very good working relationship with the Nebraska delegation.
“We get together every Wednesday for the Nebraska breakfast and we work together whenever and however we can and we have good personal relationships as well as professional relationships even in areas we don’t agree. Which is fine.”
Senator Nelson is calling Tuesday night’s seating chart a success and is hoping it wasn’t a one night wonder.
“Lets close the partisan divide and let the democrats, republicans and independents in the Senate all sit together. I’m going to advocate that if there truly is an interest in working together, we get rid of the aisle one the Senate floor. We could sit not by party but by state or by alphabet or some other way that erases that partisan divide. It is time we take Tuesday’s symbolic seating arrangement and turn it into substance, partnership and results.”
Senator Nelson says too often the president’s address turns into political theater with members of the party cheering and the opposing party sitting on their hands. He says Tuesday night, Congress were truly Americans.