Bad news for revelers wanting to cut loose before the beginning of Lent: Speaker John A. Boehner has invited President Barack Obama to deliver his State of the Union address on Feb. 12. That happens to be Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday.
"Oh, my," said one bummed-sounding staffer for a Louisiana House member.
Calls to several offices of Louisiana's congressional delegation went out. Boehner's invitation was sent Friday morning and, at least for the offices we called, the ramifications hadn't sunk in yet. "Not yet," said a staffer for Democratic Rep. Cedric L. Richmond, who represents New Orleans. Noting that it was kind of a slow Friday, she promised to try to run down a reaction.
Ditto for the office of Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, whose family hails from the Crescent City.
We'll update this as we get reaction, but Obama could help spice up his speech and make amends to Pelican State lawmakers if he threw beads from the podium.
Still, there is one silver lining: the Louisiana Society of D.C.'s Washington Mardi Gras 2013 Ball is scheduled for Feb. 2 at the Washington Hilton, so Washingtonians can attend that without having to ditch the SOTU. But even that posed a conflict for New Orleanians because it conflicts with the Super Bowl, which is being held in New Orleans on Feb. 3. That decision was described last year by New Orleans Times-Picayune columnist Jonathan Tilove as an "epic scheduling conflict."