As you know, the White House announced that President Barack Obama would give his much-anticipated jobs plan to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, September 7th. Well, there was just one problem with that given that eight Republicans are set to square off in a long-planned debate at the Reagan Library in California that same evening.
As you can imagine – and justifiably so, Republicans were bothered by Obama’s blatant (and yes, it was blatant) move to upstage the GOP debate. House Speaker John Boehner fired off a letter to the White House asking Obama to move the speech back an evening to Thursday (September 8th), which also happens to be the start of the NFL season (I’m pulling for the Saints against the Packers).
Of course, the White House and Democrats have taken shots at Republicans for making an issue out this. They’ve even claimed that Boehner’s office didn’t object to the original date. Ed Morrissey notes that this has happened before, where Obama was planning an address on Libya and decided to move it due to another event:
President Obama had a message for the American people Monday night, an explanation of the government’s intentions in Libya, one that he believed was important enough to request air time from the broadcast networks as well as the cable news networks.
But the administration also recognized that some networks, like ABC, had important priorities of their own: the programs they had scheduled for prime time Monday — like “Dancing with the Stars,” the second most-watched show on television.
After some friendly negotiations, all parties agreed to a mutually acceptable time: 7:30 Eastern, which meant the speech on the military situation in Libya could be delivered — and analyzed — in time for the fans of “Dancing,” as well as other scheduled network shows, to see the shows they expected to see at their regularly scheduled times.
So the White House can move an address for Dancing with the Stars, but asking to move an address to not conflict for a long-planned debate Republican is wrong? That’s just petty on the part of Obama.
Obama has had months to come up with realistic solutions to deal with our nation’s debt and economy, and he has chosen to punt on delivering details time and time again. Yes, he acquiesced to Boehner’s request, but we’re no doubt going to hear endless whining about how Republicans can’t even agree on the day of a speech for the next week when it’s the president acting like a spoiled child.