Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. is one who usually has a primo seat for the president's State of the Union address.
Jackson has been known to stake out a seat for hours ahead of the evening speech and get the all-important television face-time when the president arrives and walks down the aisle.
This year, however, there was no sign of Jackson.
Why not? It turns out he "had an important meeting back in the district" and flew home after the last vote, according to his spokesman Frank Watkins. Jackson watched the address on television back in Chicago and said in a statement, "President Obama struck the right chord and the right themes."
Watkins would not say what the important meeting involved.
Jackson flew back to Washington D.C. Wednesday morning "in order not to miss any votes."