Obama has sent a request for a Joint Session of Congress appearance, this time to deliver his jobs speech. And guess what, he asked for it the night of a previously scheduled Republican primary debate:
President Obama has requested a joint session of Congress next week to deliver his jobs speech directly to lawmakers.
In a letter to congressional leaders requesting the Sept. 7 slot, the president said he will urge Congress to put aside politics and focus on creating jobs during the 8 p.m. speech….
The speech will fall on the same night Texas Gov. Rick Perry makes his debut on the GOP 2012 debate stage. The Republican presidential field is set to take part in a debate also scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif.
I assume that protocol is that a President gets to give a speech to a Joint Session of Congress whenever he wants, but this is abusive and purely political.
Just say No.
Update: I think Chris Cillizza has it right as to Obama’s purpose in creating an unnecessary scheduling conflict:
There are no coincidences in presidential politics.
Strategists spend hours poring over every word a president utters, every policy position he takes and every state he visits, a level of attention to detail that makes happenstance virtually nonexistent.
And so, when the White House announced today that President Obama would deliver his much-anticipated jobs speech on Sept. 7 at 8 pm— the exact same day and time that the 2012 Republican candidates are scheduled to debate in California — the idea that the timing was purely coincidental was, well, far-fetched.
It’s clear that this White House saw an opportunity to drive a major — and direct — contrast between President Obama and his potential Republican rivals and took it….
The contrast the White House is hoping to force is between a sitting incumbent spending his time trying to find solutions to the big problems facing the country and a motley crew of Republicans fighting amongst themselves as they all try to run to the extreme ideological right….
Regardless of where you come down on the rightness of the strategy — and make no mistake that it is a strategy — it’s hard to dispute that it’s “game on” in the 2012 presidential race.
Cillizza notes some Democrats worry that Obama appears small. And some level-headed people on our side think Obama is walking into a trap.
I don’t care. Everything, and I mean everything, about this guy is a political calculation down to the last syllable on the teleprompter.
Tell him he can have his speech, the day before, or the day after, or during the time slot Oprah used to have.
And, NBC and Politico (the sponsors of the debate) have just announced there will be no postponement:
And, Boehner says do it Thursday.