Texas Republican Rep. Steve Stockman, who has perfected the art of congressional trolling, is really bringing Chad Henderson to the State of the Union.
Don't remember Chad Henderson?
Here's a refresher: When the Obamacare exchanges officially went live, reporters desperately searched for someone — anyone — who had been able to enroll. Henderson, a student at Chattanooga State University, was connected with multiple reporters through Enroll America and gleefully told them he had successfully signed his father and himself up for Obamacare.
That turned out to be untrue. Henderson had picked out a plan he wanted, but didn't actually enroll. He argued he had just used the wrong terminology.
Enter Stockman, who a few days later invited Henderson to the State of the Union via a press release calling the college student "practically a Democrat member of Congress."
"Chad Henderson is Obamacare personified. He pushed Obamacare on other people but refused to buy it himself because he would pay more. He's practically a Democrat member of Congress," Stockman said. "I hope Chad will join me at the State of the Union Address so Obama can point to someone who personifies his policies."
Henderson happily accepted the invitation.
So Stockman put out another press release stating that now the media "will have someone they can cut to" when the president talked about Obamacare.
It might have ended there. But Henderson confirmed Friday that he's really headed to D.C. for the president's address to Congress.
As he told BuzzFeed, he's paying his own way and his plane tickets and hotel are officially (we think) booked. He says he's looking forward to talking with Stockman.
"I think we're all smart here, I'm not going to pretend that I'm gonna be his friend," Chad said. "I'm anticipating that he's going to use me a whipping post and mock me, but I hope I'm wrong and we can all be adults and let me enjoy this honor."
"I do have some reservations about his motives but there is no way in hell I'd turn something like that down," he added.
Henderson also said that he'd be making an announcement about his own health care situation prior to the State of the Union. He still describes himself a big supporter of the president's health care law.
"The people who called me a fake and phony and mocked me will feel pretty stupid come the 28th," he said.
This is not the first time Stockman, who is currently attempting to challenge Sen. John Cornyn's Senate seat, has grabbed attention for his State of the Union invites. Last year his guest was controversial rocker Ted Nugent, who declared one Democratic congressman had "shit for brains," and said he felt like "a little girl" for not having his gun on him.
Kate Nocera is the managing editor for BuzzFeed’s Washington, DC bureau. Nocera is a recipient of the National Press Foundation's 2014 Dirksen Award for distinguished reporting on Congress.
Contact Kate Nocera at email@example.com.
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