- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 24, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — The secretary for one of the world’s wealthiest men and the wife of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs are among those invited by the White House to attend the State of the Union address.

The State of the Union guest list has become an annual rite, with the first lady’s box taking on the sort of gravitas shown at the Academy Awards’ red-carpet ceremony. The guests often have ties to a proposal or initiative the president will outline in the address.

The White House said Debbie Bosanek, the secretary to billionaire Warren Buffett, would be among those attending the speech. Mr. Obama frequently has cited Mr. Buffett’s complaint that the tax code is unfair because he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary.

The White House said Laurene Powell Jobs, the wife of the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, also would attend Mr. Obama’s prime-time address. Adam Rapp, a cancer survivor the White House says benefited from Mr. Obama’s health care overhaul, also will join first lady Michelle Obama in her box Tuesday night.


Mark Kelly, former astronaut and husband of outgoing Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, will attend as well. Mrs. Giffords is resigning from Congress to focus on her recovery after being shot but will be on the House floor during the State of the Union address.