How the White House Picks State of the Union Guests

Welcome to American Political Idol

Lennie Skutnik, center front, the man who jumped into the Potomac River and saved one of the passengers aboard the Air Florida jetliner that crashed on Jan. 13, receives applause from first lady Nancy Reagan and his wife, second from left, in the House chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington on Jan. 27, 1982.

Photographer: AP Photo

Sitting tonight with Michelle Obama at the State of the Union address will be Nicole Hernandez Hammer, who’s your average American mom. From South Florida. Who’s a climate scientist. And was born in Guatemala. To a Cuban father. 

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