Awed by Congress, Nunnelee not naive

WASHINGTON — Dealing with Democrats comes naturally to freshman U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee, R-Miss., who sat between a Massachusetts liberal and an Alaska Democrat at Tuesday night’s State of the Union address.

“In terms of talking with Democrats, I’ve done that my entire legislative career in the state Senate. That’s nothing new,” he said Wednesday at his Longworth Building office after meeting with representatives of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

He said he has little frame of reference for whether the newfound bipartisan comity after the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-N.M., is a major change, since it happened just days after the new Congress was sworn in. But he gladly sat between Rep. James McGovern, D-Mass., and Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, for the traditional annual address by the president.

Commercial Appeal