When it comes to President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night, it's the equivalent of reading tea leaves for Washington journalists.
The White House trickles out its list of invitees to the address, and each person on that list is a clue about the issues the President will likely tackle.
On Monday morning, we got a list of the invitees of First Lady Michele Obama and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden for Tuesday night's speech (6 PT/ 9 ET). Based on that list, here's our take on what the likely bullet points the President will touch upon:
1. REMINDER THAT TERRORISM IS STILL A THREAT:
- Carlos Arredondo and Jeff Bauman, who both survived the Boston Marathon bombing, are guests. Arredondo was the guy in the white cowboy hat who rescued the badly injured Bauman ,who later helped identify the bomber. The President will try to convey that the Commander-in-Chief is working to keep Americans safe in a dangerous world.
This one's a two-fer:
2. CLIMATE CHANGE AND A SALUTE TO FIRST RESPONDERS:
- Fire Chief Gary Bird from Moore, Oklahoma, the community devastated by a massive tornado, will be there. The President can salute fire, police and members of the military and remind climate skeptics in the GOP of the real-world effects of climate change.
3. GAY RIGHTS
- NBA star Jason Collins came out as openly gay last year, the first male player on a major sports team to do so; Collins has not been signed by a team this year season. The President will likely celebrate the Supreme Court's decisions on the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Prop 8 and talk about more recent court decisions that are likely also headed to the Supreme Court.
4. EDUCATION, OR, MORE SPECIFICALLY, THE NEED FOR STRONG SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING AND MATH EDUCATION
- Joey Hudy met the President two years ago at a White House science fair where he let the Commander-in-Chief shoot off his invention of a marshmallow cannon; now, at age 16, Hudy's an intern at Intel.
5. EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
- Kathy Hollowell-Makle is a Teach for America alum, recently named Teacher of the Year in the District of Columbia for the 80 percent of her kids who are reading above their grade level.
More guests will be announced as we get closer to the Tuesday night speech. Why not read the tea leaves along with the rest of the D.C. press corps? Include your guesses for SOTU topics in the comment section.
By the way, a speech on national issues doesn't have to be dry. Follow along with what the president is saying by playing bingo.