Buffett’s secretary to join first lady at State of the Union address

President Obama has invited the secretary of billionaire investor Warren Buffett to listen to the State of the Union address, the White House announced Tuesday.

In recent months, Obama has made a habit of talking about "Warren Buffett's secretary" as a way to illustrate a larger point about economic equality and a looming battle over the tax code.

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"Warren Buffett's secretary shouldn't pay a higher tax rate than Warren Buffett," Obama told a crowd in September as he discussed his jobs proposal.

Tonight, in a symbolic gesture, Debbie Bosanek will be on hand as Obama delivers his State of the Union address, taking in the speech from first lady Michelle Obama's box, White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer announced on Twitter.

It's customary for the White House to invite guests to the State of the Union who dovetail with the president's address.

White House aides say Obama is expected to revive his push for what he calls the "Buffett rule" which seeks to ensure that middle-class workers do not pay a higher tax rate than their wealthy bosses and corporate executives.

Bosanek will be seated with a North Carolina furniture maker whom Obama is expected to use in the speech as an example of "insourcing" and creating jobs domestically.

Another attendee: a 23-year-old cancer survivor who was able to get health insurance because of the president's healthcare reform legislation.

Other guests in the first lady's box include, astronaut Mark Kelly, the husband of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords; Mike Krieger, the founder of the social mobile startup Instagram; Ashleigh Berg an army sergeant who served two tours of duty in Iraq; Alicia Boler-Davis, a plant manager at General Motors, Jackie Bray, a process operator at the Siemens Charlotte Energy Hub, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro; Dr. Hiroyuki Fujita, the founder, president and CEO of Quality Electrodynamics and Laurene Powell Jobs, the founder and chair of Emerson Collective. They will be joined by second lady Dr. Jill Biden and Valerie Jarrett, the president's senior adviser.

Out of the 21 guests in the first lady's box, 12 are from swing states including Pennsylvania, Florida and Colorado.