Himes not scrambling for a GOP seat-mate at tonight’s SOTU

Rep. Jim Himes, D-4th District, said he still doesn’t have a “date” for tonight’s State of the Union Address.

Bucking tradition when the two parties divide into warring camps divided by the center aisle, this year lawmakers are pairing off with bipartisan buddies. Newly-elected Sen. Richard Blumenthal, for example, snagged another freshman and former state attorney general, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., as his SOTU match.

But Himes said he, for one, has not been scrambling for a partner.  

“I honestly haven’t thought about it and I’ve watched this with a certain amount of amusement,” he said of the high-schoolish atmosphere surrounding tonight’s seating arrangment. He said the proposal to sit with a lawmaker from the other party is “on the margin a nice gesture,” but not much more, given how deep and wide partisanship runs in Washington.

He said he’s more focused on what President Obama will say.

“More than anything else, I hope to hear both specific plans on two items that I think are really essential,” Himes said. “One is the reinvigoration of the economy and the other is a plan for fiscal sustainability. We’ve been, in both parties, long on rhetoric and short on details, so I’m looking for the meat on the bone.”