Cao will be sole GOPer to attend White House Super Bowl party

Rep. Joseph Cao (La.), the only House Republican who voted for healthcare reform, is also the only GOPer going to the Super Bowl party at the White House.

The White House released a list of lawmakers expected to attend that included seven Democrats and Cao, the Republican who won the New Orleans seat held by Rep. Willliam Jefferson (D-La.).

Jefferson was defeated in the heavily Democratic district amid charges that he had accepted bribes. He was later convicted by a jury, but is appealing the verdict.

Cao probably represents the seat that is the Democrats’ best chance to pick up a seat in what looks to be a difficult election year for the party. Obama won 75 percent of the vote in Cao’s district in 2008.

If last year’s Super Bowl is an indication, Cao’s attendance could be good for Democrats and the New Orleans Saints, who are making their first Super Bowl appearance after a fairly miserable history in the NFL.

Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) attended last year’s Super Bowl party at Obama’s new house. He rooted for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who won their sixth Super Bowl that year. A few months later, the Republican switched parties and became a Democrat.

Most of the lawmakers invited to watch the game at the White House are from the states represented in the game.
Reps. Andre Carson (D-Ind.), Brad Ellsworth (D-Ind.) and Baron Hill (D-Ind.) presumably will be rooting for Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts.

Cao is the only Louisiana lawmaker attending the White House party.

Reps. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) will also attend, according to the White House.

So will a number of cabinet members, including Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Sec. Janet Napolitano.

Here's the full list of attendees, according to a White House release:

Members of Congress:

Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA)

Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA)

Rep. Joseph Cao (R-LA)

Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN)

Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-IN)

Rep. Baron Hill (D-IN)

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)

Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT)
 

Cabinet Members:

Secretary Shaun Donovan

Secretary Arne Duncan

Attorney General Eric Holder

Administrator Lisa Jackson

Secretary Janet Napolitano

Ambassador Susan Rice

Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

Secretary Eric Shinseki

Secretary Tom Vilsack