There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that the divider in Chief purposefully chose to give his pointless jobs speech on the same day as the Republican debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California. Everything the man does lately seems designed to chafe and offend. To deflect blame away from themselves, the White House is claiming that they got permission from Speaker Boehner’s office before they announced the timing of the speech. Boehner says they didn’t.
Incidentally, is there any good reason for the President to be giving yet another long, droning, platitudinous speech, transparently short on specifics, long on demagoguery? His handlers have gotten it into their heads that giving speeches is one of Obama’s strong suits. So they keep trotting him out there, even though his powers of persuasion ended a long time ago. The more he talks, the more his approval numbers go down. I don’t have a problem with them being behind the learning curve on this, but kneecapping Rick Perry on the night of his first primary debate, is nasty and petty.
The Politico reports that administration officials insist it’s all pure coincidence.
“It is my recommendation that your address be held on the following evening, when we can ensure there will be no parliamentary or logistical impediments that might detract from your remarks,” Boehner wrote.
Boehner’s spokesman added in a statement that the White House ignored protocol by not first requesting a date from the speaker’s office.
“It’s unfortunate the White House ignored decades — if not centuries — of the protocol of working out a mutually agreeable date and time before making any public announcement,” Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck said.
So how does the “adult in the room” respond to Republican objections to the WH faux pas?
A senior House Democratic aide called Boehner’s office “childish” for asking the president to reschedule.
“The childish behavior coming out of the speaker’s office today is truly historic,” the aide said. “It is unprecedented to reject the date that a president wants to address a joint session of the Congress.”
The White House had insisted the timing was coincidental. Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters there were many scheduling “considerations” and suggested the president has no interest in detracting from the debate viewership.
He said the administration would “welcome” a decision by debate hosts to “adjust the timing of their debate so that it didn’t conflict.”
Read John Boehner’s letter, and tell me it was “childish”.
Some White House officials, not brave enough to go on the record, accused Boehner of lying:
Senior White House officials, responding to Boehner’s letter under cloak of anonymity, told POLITICO the speaker had essentially signed off on the 8 p.m., Sept. 7 slot before they went public.
“[The] date and time were cleared with the speaker’s office this morning, before the letter went out,” an Obama aide said.
Again, Boehner claims they did not clear it with his office, first. He says the White House “notified” him they were seeking that time, then announced it to the press, before Boehner had answered. What weasels.
On the Senate side, Jim DeMint is fuming, vowing to block Obama’s speech unless he knocks it off:
Sen. Jim DeMint vowed Wednesday to try to block President Barack Obama from addressing a joint session of Congress on the same day as a Republican presidential debate next week.
Obama could learn something from the GOP, DeMint reasoned, in adding his voice — and his vote — to a growing chorus of Republican objections.
“The president should pick another night. I’m planning to watch the Republican primary debate … and the president should watch it, too,”
The iconic South Carolina conservative said. “If he has a jobs proposal, put it in writing, give us a cost estimate, and send it over. I want to read the bill, not listen to talking points off a TelePrompter. If he insists on playing politics by picking the night of the GOP debate, I will object to the session.”
A lone determined senator can tie the chamber in knots for days, and the House and Senate must both pass a concurrent resolution to allow for the president to speak to a joint session.
Listening to The Mark Levin Show, Ace reports:
Mark Levin says he hears Obama may just do an Oval Office address if Congress balks. This could work for him. It was speculated the whole point of calling a Joint Session was to force networks to cover him. And they are getting tired of giving him very pricey prime-time slots to speak in. But a Joint Session is fairly rare and networks wouldn’t balk for that kind of speech.
What a vain little man we have in the White House.
The Hill: Obama targets GOP for fall offensive:
President Obama is preparing to fight a political war this fall on two fronts — the first against Republicans who want his job and the second against Republicans who want to make his job more difficult.
Obama is taking dead-aim at the latter group, targeting Congress in a fall offensive that the president’s reelection campaign hopes will bruise the overall GOP image beyond repair.
Well, he’s getting off to a bang-up start, annoying even members of his own party with his nonsense.
A good catch by New Yorker correspondent Ryan Lizza. Note in Carney’s statement that they’re now saying they merely “consulted” with Boehner’s office beforehand. Says Lizza, “‘Cleared’ officially downgraded to ‘consulted.’ So someone at WH anonymously passed along inaccurate information to several journos. Nice.”
Michelle Malkin: Photoshop fun: President O-bow-ma caves to Boehner
LA Times Top of the Ticket: Minutes after his Sept. 8 address to Congress is set, Obama bashes both houses:
Alternate headline: President Prissy Throws A Hissy
Within minutes of agreeing with congressional leaders Wednesday night on an address to a joint session next week, President Obama flashed out an email to millions of supporters criticizing the chambers, their members and vowing to pressure them to enact his as yet unspecified job creation ideas.
“It’s been a long time since Congress was focused on what the American people need them to be focused on,” the Democrat charged in an email with the subject line: “Frustrated.”
It’s not exactly clear how long “a long time” Obama was thinking of. But until midterm voters produced a historic House turnover to Republicans last November, Obama’s Democratic Party controlled both houses with substantial majorities and gave him vast spending, reform and healthcare programs.
It was, at least in part, voter reaction to such legislation that produced the divided government in D.C. now.
This evening’s email is likely revealing of the strategy this White House intends to follow for the 2012 presidential election, blaming Congress for what hasn’t happened in the economy and employment sectors.