WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sure, it's all about bipartisanship. Not to mention the perks of watching the Super Bowl at the White House with the first fan playing host.
President Barack Obama is inviting a group of lawmakers - some Republicans, many Democrats, and a few from Pennsylvania and Arizona - to join him for Sunday's championship game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals.
With no Chicago team for Obama to cheer, the president said he's rooting for Pittsburgh against the "long-suffering" and "great Cinderella story" Cardinals, and he wished the Cardinals the best.
Steelers owner Dan Rooney, a longtime Republican, endorsed Obama's presidential bid and campaigned for him. Obama also noted that Franco Harris, one of the most beloved former Steelers, campaigned for him in Pittsburgh, too.
Five of the 15 lawmakers invited to join Obama are from Pennsylvania, and two are from Arizona. There are four senators and 11 representatives. The group includes 11 Democrats, four Republicans and three women. The White House released the guest list on Friday.
Press secretary Robert Gibbs said the gathering is another step in the president's continuing effort to reach out to lawmakers and get to know them better in hopes of reducing the partisan rancor as they work together on the people's business.
Since becoming president, Obama has met at the White House with congressional leaders, traveled to Capitol Hill for private sessions with House and Senate Republicans and invited a bipartisan group of lawmakers to the executive mansion for cocktails.
The invited lawmakers are: Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pa.; Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; and Arlen Specter, R-Pa.; and Reps. Elijah Cummings, D-Md.; Artur Davis, D-Ala.; Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn.; Charlie Dent, R-Pa.; Mike Doyle, D-Pa.; Trent Franks, R-Ariz.; Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz.; Paul Hodes, D-N.H.; Patrick Murphy, D-Pa.; Fred Upton, R-Mich.; and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C.
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