The Times opens with an anecdote featuring two unnamed senators, who turn out to be Sen. Tom Coburn, a conservative Republican from Oklahoma, and Sen. Charles Schumer, a liberal Democrat from New York. Yet while Coburn was twice labeled accurately as a conservative by the reporters, Schumer was simply called a Democrat each time.
A leader of the Senate Democrats and one of the Senate's most conservative Republicans will sit together at the State of the Union speech next week in a gesture of unity.
Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, the No. 3 Democrat, and Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, a leading conservative, said Sunday that they would sit together at the State of the Union speech. The gesture, expected to be replicated by colleagues, stands to alter the seemingly timeless image of lawmakers on one side of the House chamber standing and applauding a president from their own party, while lawmakers on the other side sit stone-faced, their hands in their laps.