Obama invites presidential letter writers to big address

Sat Jan 17, 2015 6:02am EST
 
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama has invited a handful of average Americans who wrote him letters about their lives to his annual State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday.

"Every day, we get thousands of letters and emails at the White House from Americans across the country, and every night, I read 10 of them," Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address, broadcast on Saturday.

"They tell me about their hopes and their worries, their hardships and successes. They’re the Americans I’m working for every day, and this year, several of these letter writers will join me at the Capitol."

The president said he had invited a woman from Colorado, Carolyn Reed, who expanded her business with a loan from the Small Business Administration.

Victor Fugate of Missouri would also be among his guests. Fugate wrote to say he had been unemployed but was now working, able to afford student loans, and benefiting from Obamacare.

Jason Gibson, who lost both his legs during the war in Afghanistan and who Obama first met at a hospital, would also be attending.

The White House often uses guests, who traditionally sit with first lady Michelle Obama during the speech, to represent some of the themes and ideas highlighted in the address.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by David Gregorio)

 
U.S. President Barack Obama addresses a joint news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron (Not Pictured) following their meeting at the White House in Washington January 16, 2015. REUTERS/Larry Downing