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Mark Udall's Mixed Seating Idea Called 'Interesting' By White House

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WASHINGTON — White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says a senator's proposal that Democrats and Republicans sit together rather than divided by party during the President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech is "an interesting idea."

Gibbs says Obama's call for a more civil public discourse, a central thrust of his memorial speech for the Arizona shooting victims, will be a part of his address to the joint session of Congress on Jan. 25.

Democratic Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado on Wednesday suggested ending the tradition of separating lawmakers into Republican and Democratic camps. He said that seating arrangement offers a negative symbol of division.

Gibbs said Thursday: "Maybe not having a physical aisle separate us would be a good thing as we talk about the state of our union."