When South Caroline Rep. Joe Wilson shouted at President Obama during his speech before a joint session of Congress in September, it was hard to see past that level of disrespect--so that fact that Illinois congressman John Shimkus got up and walked out during the same speech did not garner much attention.
Mr. Shimkus, who reportedly "wasn't planning to" walk out on the President's speech and just did it "on the spur of the moment," decided he will try his best to sit through Wednesday's State of the Union Address, NBC Chicago reports.
Shimkus, a seven-term Republican congressman, may not have made the front page by walking out on Obama's speech, but the stunt garnered enough negative attention: He is now facing his first primary battle in the 19th District since 1996. NBC Chicago reports:
He's run unopposed since 1996, but after the walkout incident his political armor may have been cracked. The stunt ended up on late night political talk shows and galvanized the opposition by making him the subject of a national fundraising effort.
While the Shimkus walkout was reportedly due to frustration "that the president was not offering any new ground" in his health care address, the congressman's spokesman Doug Bugger said Shimkus has higher hopes for the State of the Union:
A federal spending freeze.
"He thinks that would be a very positive step," Bugger told the Pantagraph.
No word yet on other legislative sacrifices Obama will have to make in order to get Republicans to behave themselves while he speaks.
Watch video of the Joe Wilson outburst here: