Minnesota mom will be Michelle Obama's special guest at State of the Union speech


A St. Anthony wife and mother will be seated with the First Lady as Pres. Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address on Tuesday.

USA Today reports that Rebekah Erler will be among her 22 special guests, including former Cuba prisoner Alan Gross and astronaut Scott Kelly. They also include students, educators, health care officials and recipients, government officials, and a wounded veteran who fought in Afghanistan. "The invitees symbolize some of the themes of Obama's speech," the newspaper said.

Erler, 36, wrote to the president to tell him about how her family had struggled when the housing market collapsed and her husband's construction business went under.

This is not Erler's first connection to the president. WCCO reported that Erler, who is an accountant and the mother of two sons, met with him during his two-day visit to Minneapolis last June. The two had lunch at Matt's Bar.

The station reported that Erler contacted the president last March when she was frustrated with paying the family's bills.

“That was the moment when I really decided that, like, somebody has to say something about this. This is nuts,” she told the station.

Erler fired off a letter, one of thousands the White House receives every day. It found its way to the President's desk, and months later he sought her out during his visit to Minnesota.

Now a profile of Erler is on the White House blog, which includes an update on how the family's financial situation has improved. Rebekah's husband is now back in the re-modeling industry.

"Her story is one shared by millions of American families, and helps show that too many middle-class families with two working parents are still stretched too thin," it said.

Next Up

covid, vaccine

Is Minnesota's latest surge plateauing? Expert says 'no idea'

Hospital admissions have leveled off in the past week, though ICU cases have risen.

U of M police

U of M alert: Man followed victim from bus, tried to break into apartment

The suspect followed a man off a bus and tried to get into his apartment.

24436 Old Hwy 13 Blvd, New Prague, Minnesota

New Prague bar that disregarded shutdown order settles lawsuit

The bar was cited for several violations late last year.

Cole Leon Venables - edit

Charges: Impaired pizza delivery driver fatally hit woman in Hopkins

The woman who was killed was walking down the sidewalk when she was hit and killed.


Curfew orders could be issued if unrest follows Chauvin trial verdict

Minnesota and the nation anxiously away the jury verdict.

Walter Mondale

State and national leaders pay tribute to Walter Mondale

Officials spoke of his work on environmental and civil rights issues, as well as their own personal stories with the former Vice President.

Anthony Trifiletti

Watertown man found guilty of murder in road rage shooting

Anthony Trifiletti has been convicted in the killing of Douglas Cornelius Lewis following an argument over a fender bender.

police tape

Police: Man fatally shot in north Minneapolis home

Multiple people were questioned but no one is in custody.

Blue Door

The Blue Door is closing its original St. Paul location for good

Two of its Minneapolis locations are still open, with the third temporarily closed.

Fire, firefighters

Fire heavily damages century-old church in northeast Minneapolis

The fire started Monday night and caused much of the church's roof to collapse.

Mike Ryan

Charges: High school hockey coach killed in fight over distancing at St. Paul bar

The 48-year-old had coached in Bloomington hockey programs for more than 20 years.