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President Obama Picks Jan. 25 For State Of Union Speech

For those who've been waiting to mark it on their calendars, President Obama and Congress have agreed he will deliver his 2011 State of the Union speech on Tuesday, Jan. 25.

It will be the first presidential speech to a joint session of Congress of the new era of a Republican House majority.

Thus, there will be some new visuals to take in -- not the least of which will be the sight of the new House speaker, Rep. John Boehner, sitting behind the president alongside Vice President Biden.

In his official invitation to the president, Boehner alluded to the Tucson tragedy:

Recent events have reminded us of the imperfect nature of our representative democracy, but also how much we cherish the ideal that our government exists to serve the people. Even in the wake of tragedy, we must never waiver (sic) from our obligation to carry out their will and provide solutions to keep moving our nation forward.

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Frank James joined NPR News in April 2009 to launch the blog, "The Two-Way," with co-blogger Mark Memmott.