WASHINGTON - Sure, it's all about bipartisanship. Not tomention the perks of watching the Super Bowl at the White Housewith the first fan playing host.
President Barack Obama is inviting a group of lawmakers -- someRepublicans, many Democrats, and a few from Pennsylvania andArizona -- to join him for Sunday's championship game between thePittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals.
With no Chicago team for Obama to cheer, the president said he'srooting for Pittsburgh against the "long-suffering" and "greatCinderella story" Cardinals, and he wished the Cardinals the best.
Steelers owner Dan Rooney, a longtime Republican, endorsedObama's presidential bid and campaigned for him. Obama also notedthat Franco Harris, one of the most beloved former Steelers,campaigned for him in Pittsburgh, too.
Five of the 15 lawmakers invited to join Obama are fromPennsylvania, and two are from Arizona. There are four senators and11 representatives. The group includes 11 Democrats, fourRepublicans and three women. The White House released the guestlist on Friday.
Press secretary Robert Gibbs said the gathering is another stepin the president's continuing effort to reach out to lawmakers andget to know them better in hopes of reducing the partisan rancor asthey work together on the people's business.
Since becoming president, Obama has met at the White House withcongressional leaders, traveled to Capitol Hill for privatesessions with House and Senate Republicans and invited a bipartisangroup of lawmakers to the executive mansion for cocktails.
The invited lawmakers are: Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pa.; Dick Durbin,D-Ill.; Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; and Arlen Specter, R-Pa.; and Reps.Elijah Cummings, D-Md.; Artur Davis, D-Ala.; Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn.;Charlie Dent, R-Pa.; Mike Doyle, D-Pa.; Trent Franks, R-Ariz.; RaulGrijalva, D-Ariz.; Paul Hodes, D-N.H.; Patrick Murphy, D-Pa.; FredUpton, R-Mich.; and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C.