Congressional squatters wait up to 12 hours for aisle seat at State of Union so they can shake hands with the President
To secure an aisle seat, members of Congress have to claim the spot ten to twelve hours
Lawmakers Camp Out for Chance to Meet President -- Daily Intelligencer
State of the Union squatters, and scoring five seconds of inane conversation with the president involves a surprising amount of preparation.
The whole interaction is so quick that members of Congress also have to make sure that they've prepared a concise comment. (Sample lines: "Donít forget us in North Carolina!" and "Stand by Israel, now.") However, passing these profound messages to the president isn't really the point. Some lawmakers are convinced that the move will impress their constituents. "I will be in my district somewhere in December and someone will say to me, 'I saw you on TV,'" Engel says. "I'll think it was one of the many interviews I've done, but they'll say 'No. You were shaking the President's hand.' People remember me shaking the President's hand."