Tonight’s No-Shows

by Betsy Woodruff

House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) said he thought “all members ought to be here” for the president’s speech on jobs this evening.

However, a number of his colleagues aren’t heeding that advice. Here are some of the faces you won’t see:

— Sen. Jim DeMint (R., S.C.): The Hill says he wanted the president to present the plan in writing before giving the speech and that he wants to draw attention to people who make jobs instead of talking about them. He’ll meet with Boeing officials and employees. 

— Rep. Joe Walsh (R., Ill.): The Tea Party–allied representative will host a forum on small businesses. He said he doesn’t want to be a “prop,” reports the Chicago Tribune.

— Sen. David Vitter (R., La): He’s having a Saints–Packers watch party at home with friends, and he’s emphasized that his decision is based on his football fanaticism rather than his political views. But he told Fox that he expects the speech to be “more political than substantive.” 

— Rep. Paul Broun (R., Ga.): He plans to watch from his office so he can tweet about it –– representatives aren’t supposed to use their Blackberries in the chamber. He did the same thing during the State of the Union address.

— Rep. Ron Paul (R., Texas): Spokesman Gary Howard said yesterday that he doesn’t plan to attend the speech. Paul has made a habit of skipping primetime presidential speeches, including State of the Union addresses, dismissing them as “a bunch of fluff.”

— Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.): He probably won’t be there, but not for political reasons –– Yahoo reports that his mother is ill.

Betsy Woodruff is a National Review intern in Washington, D.C.

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