Michelle Obama’s ‘Firsts’ in SOTU Box

Photograph by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama before U.S. President Barack Obama’s 2013 State of the Union address

First lady Michelle Obama is hosting a bevy of “firsts” in her congressional box tonight at her husband’s State of the Union address.

Among them will be Mary Barra, the new head of General Motors and the company’s first female CEO.

Another pioneer invited by the first lady is Michelle Howard, the Navy’s first four star general.

Also: Ed Lee, San Francisco’s first Asian-American mayor.

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear  will be among the few men in Obama’s company.

Supreme Court Justices, including Elena Kagan and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, get front row seats in the House chambers.

Per custom, they are not supposed to laugh, applaud or show any reaction to the president’s remarks. They got all of that out of their systems last night at the Lansburgh Theatre for a production of “The Importance of Being Earnest” by the Shakespeare Theatre Company.

The two culture buffs were seated just two rows apart, between New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.

Dowd is known for her razor wit, so it’s no surprise that she’s a fan of the comedy’s author, Oscar Wilde. Surely he would have some good zingers ready for the president’s speech, such as his adage: “True friends stab you in the front.”

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