President Donald Trump will give his first official State of the Union (SOTU) address on Tuesday, Jan. 30. And while most of the first family will be in attendance and drawing eyes, people are wondering about the youngest: is Barron Trump at the State of the Union? It doesn't look like the 11-year-old will be there to watch his father deliver the speech.
On Monday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, "I don't believe [Barron] will be attending as of right now."
Most of Trump's other children will apparently be attending, though, according to Sanders, who said they'll all be there. Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner will be there, as will Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Tiffany Trump. And First Lady Melania Trump, seated in her designated box in the gallery, will have a prime view of her husband on stage, along with special guests.
Typically, the State of the Union is delivered in the House chamber, with special rules about guests and where they sit. And the seating matters. For example, where the first lady sits — and with whom — can speak volumes about the president's platform and agenda for the year. Not just anyone gets an invite to the annual event. (That said, some lawmakers will be boycotting the president's SOTU address this year, while some are planning to wear black in protest.)
But children of the president are generally not in attendance. That includes Trump's predecessor. In several SOTUs past, former First Lady Michelle Obama did not sit with her children.
Malia Obama did make one exception in attending major speeches by her father. Seated next to her mother, Malia Obama attended her father's farewell address in 2017 in Chicago, where he gave an emotional tribute to his wife and children (there were tears shed). Sasha, however, had to stay home.
Chelsea Clinton, however, did attend at least one of her father's SOTU addresses in 1996 (get ready for some serious '90s nostalgia). But while the Clinton first daughter had a decent amount of time in the public eye growing up in the White House, the same hasn't been true so far of Barron Trump's time as a first son.
Whereas Trump's other children have been front and center, Barron has largely stayed out of the D.C. spotlight. For the first several months of Trump's tenure in office, Melania and Barron remained living in the family's Manhattan apartment while he finished out the school year. The first lady and son moved into the White House in June 2017. And for the most part, he's laid pretty low since, except, of course, when the t-shirt he was wearing while de-boarding Air Force One that same day became so popular it sold out.
And in August, news reports began targeting Barron's fashion sense. But it was Chelsea Clinton, in fact, who stood up and defended him. Hey, White House kids gotta stick together, right?
But it seems he's slowly showing up more and more in the public view. In the fall, Barron made two on-camera appearances alongside his parents and siblings, during the Thanksgiving turkey pardoning and the Christmas tree lighting ceremonies. (Much to his far-too-concerned critics' dismay, he wasn't wearing a t-shirt or khaki shorts at either of them.)
Unlike her older sister, Sasha Obama, then 15, didn't attend her father's farewell address last year, staying back in D.C. to prepare for a school exam. Two of the Trump children are also still in school: Tiffany Trump is doing a law program at Georgetown University in Washington D.C., while Barron is currently attending St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Maryland. Upcoming exams or not, Barron will presumably be at home in the White House residence while his parents are on Capitol Hill for the speech.
And given that this year's SOTU will be competing for viewers with an interview with Stormy Daniels on Jimmy Kimmel Live, we wouldn't blame anyone if they'd rather stay home with a bucket of popcorn and watch the latter.