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Willie Robertson, Paul Ryan, Janna Ryan


As usual, the star on the Republican side of the House chamber during the State of the Union address was not President Barack Obama.

But tonight the star was an actual celebrity.

Duck Dynasty's Willie Robertson was in attendance as the special guest of Louisiana Rep. Vance McAllister—and he was the toast of the bipartisan ball!

As NBC political correspondent Kelly O'Donnell noted on the air, the evening had "a real celebrity feeling" about it thanks the presence of the reality-TV personality, as "pop culture and political life collide."

The whole family received a vote of support last year from their home state of Louisiana when Duck Dynasty's future at A&E lay in the balance following patriarch Phil Robertson's comments about gay and African-American people to GQ that were widely criticized as intolerant and offensive.

On the flip side, others said that Phil shouldn't be punished for exercising his First Amendment right to voice his beliefs.

Meanwhile, Robertson's invitation was also a thank you for throwing his support behind McAllister last year, helping to propel the congressman to victory in a special runoff election to fill the Republican seat vacated by Rodney Alexander.

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan was one of the political types who happily posed for photos with Robertson, who sported his signature stars-and-stripes bandana along with his blazer and slacks.

Robertson's wife, Korie, was there as well as a guest of South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham.

Lindsey Graham, Twitter