Media

Obama To Host Pre-State Of The Union Lunch With Network Anchors

President Barack Obama waves as he walks across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, following his arrival on Marine One helicopter from the House Democratic Issues Conference in Lansdowne, Va. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Barack Obama waves as he walks across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, following his arrival on Marine One helicopter from the House Democratic Issues Conference in Lansdowne, Va. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Obama will have lunch Tuesday with several TV anchors and hosts, fulfilling a White House tradition held the afternoon before giving the State of the Union address.

The annual lunch, which is off-the-record, allows the president to frame his upcoming speech before influential figures in TV news, all of whom will be leading or part of their networks' coverage later on. While Obama will personally give anchors a sense of what he'll outline in the address at the 12:30 p.m. lunch, White House aides have already been speaking to reporters for days -- typically not for attribution -- about what to expect on Tuesday night.

The anchors of all three broadcast evening newscasts -- NBC’s Brian Williams, ABC’s Diane Sawyer and CBS’s Scott Pelley -- will be in attendance, The Huffington Post has confirmed. Some cable hosts will also be on hand, including MSNBC's Chris Matthews. George Stephanopoulos, co-host of ABC's "Good Morning America," is attending, too.

There will likely be several more guests not yet confirmed. Last year's lunch also included CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Fox News’ Bret Baier and Shepard Smith, and NPR’s Melissa Block.

While policy proposals are off-the-record, the menu apparently isn’t. Last year, Smith raved on-air about the menu, which included thyme-roasted sea bass, a three bean succotash and warm lemon pudding. Sadly, he is in Rome this year, covering the Pope's resignation.

This article was updated as more details of attendees became available.

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