“Members will not be allowed to reserve seats prior to the joint session by placement of placards or personal items. Chamber Security may remove these items from the seats,” said a note sent out Monday by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the majority whip. “Members may reserve their seats only by physical presence.”I guess it's a less harmful waste of congressional time than a lot of things they do? (Voting more than 30 times to repeal Obamacare springs to mind.) Actually, though, several of the dedicated aisle-squatters say been seen shaking the president's hand plays well with constituents:
“You would get a lot of calls from back home” afterward, said former representative Dale E. Kildee (D-Mich.), who first did it with President Jimmy Carter. A longer-serving member, Rep. William Natcher (D-Ky.), had invited Kildee to join him in waiting. There were cookies. And then, after Kildee had shaken the president’s hand, he found his own constituents looked at him in a different light.But still. A whole day of just sitting there in what frankly do not look like very comfortable chairs. It's dedication to the job, of sorts?
“People would say, ‘Gosh, I saw you shaking hands with the president.’ So you had that advantage,” Kildee recalled.