The president of the United States will address a joint session of Congress at 7 PM September 8 to encourage a better season, this following the Congressional summer break, and to outline his plan for jobs, and for the economy.The president now has an opportunity to prompt the Congress on both sides of the Capitol, on both sides of the aisle, to a new, or at least improved, period of cooperation and mutual respect. Looking back on the hand-wringing and forehead-sweating of the days prior to break, this would at least seem a sensible goal, and a worthwhile outcome.
The wrangle got off to a shaky start as the president's spokesman, Jay Carney, Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, and Vice President Joe Biden met with consternation, even as they announced the proposed date of the president’s speech to a joint session of Congress. Protocol calls for the president to request a time period for a speech to the joint session; the House speaker invariably complies. The current request came on Wednesday, August 31. The application was for Wednesday evening, September 7. As we know, and as it turned out, the Republican presidential candidates had made plans for an important debate at the Reagan Library in California, with full media coverage, for that slot. How much of a problem could all that be? A simple agreement to amend the schedule was all that was called for. By the next morning, Thursday, in time for Morning Joe, the air was thick, explanations and apologies were being made.
On Morning Joe, Carney clarified the matter, “We contacted the speaker’s office, informed them that we were going to be asking for that day. No objection was raised at that time.” White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer spoke on later MSNBC programs with similar information.
On Thursday evening Speaker of the House John Boehner politely invited the president to make the address at 7 PM, September 8. Obama accepted, and it all worked out well, particularly perhaps for the president; the joint session, and the speech will now be aired just prior to The New Orleans Saints/Green Bay Packers NFL season opener.
Jon Huntsman, Republican candidate for the Presidency said, "This is what people hate about politics."
But it should come as little surprise that Michele Bachman seemed to take the whole mix-up personally,and didn't hesitate to say so. “Either, A: He wants to distract the American people so they don’t watch him, or, B: He doesn’t want the American people to hear what the next president of the United States is going to say!” “He decided he wanted to give his jobs speech at the exact same time the Republican candidates for president were going to be doing their debate at the Reagan library; does this show, maybe, a little insecurity on the part of the president?”