Props? Are guests of the SOTU being used?

There is no question it is fun for someone to attend the State of the Union by any President…and even more fun to be a guest of the President in the balcony sitting with the First Lady.

But each year when I hear the names I wonder, are these guests being used? Are they simply props for the President?  The President has an agenda in his speech and then turns and points to the guest in the balcony.

Every President does it but there is a part of me that feels bad that these people are being used as props.  These are great individuals and I don’t want them to feel used….and perhaps they do not.

I balance the prop factor with the fact that it is really fun for the people invited to attend.  I know they have fun and I hope they do.  There is something else – most (all?) of them have done something for which we admire them.

What do you think?