Obama Requests To Address Joint Session Of Congress On Same Night As GOP Debate

There’s no way you can tell me that there isn’t some rather obvious politics involved in the White House’s request to address a Joint Session of Congress on the same day as a GOP Presidential Debate that’s been scheduled for months:

President Barack Obama intends to deliver his much-anticipated speech laying out his jobs agenda and plan to cut the federal deficit on Sept. 7 to a joint session of Congress. Mr. Obama’s timing steps directly on a Republican presidential debate scheduled for that same evening in Simi Valley, Calif.

The president sent a letter to congressional leaders Wednesday requesting time to address a joint session on Sept. 7 at 8 p.m.

“Our Nation faces unprecedented economic challenges, and millions of hardworking Americans continue to look for jobs,” Mr. Obama wrote. “It is my intention to lay out a series of bipartisan proposals that the Congress can take immediately to continue to rebuild the American economy by strengthening small businesses, helping Americans get back to work, and putting more money in the paychecks of the Middle Class and working Americans, while still reducing our deficit and getting our fiscal house in order.”

“It is our responsibility to find bipartisan solutions to help grow our economy,” Mr. Obama continued, “and if we are willing to put country before party, I am confident we can do just that.”

Let’s be honest here. There’s no reason whatsoever for the President to address Congress to lay out a jobs plan that is likely to be little more than a rehash of ideas we’ve been hearing for the past two years. This is a purely political move designed to cloak the President in the aura of authority, complete with all of the ridiculous pageantry involved in a State Of The Union Address. And the timing is obvious as well. Frankly, there’s a part of me that would love to see the Speaker of the House turn down the President’s request, but that would just enure to the President’s political benefit.

As for the debate, MSNBC is saying that the debate is still on as scheduled, which I guess means that they will not be covering the President’s address. Which is fine with me.

 

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Campaign 2012, Congress, Politicians, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. PD Shaw says:

    What if the Republicans moved their debate back 30-60 minutes and used the stunt for their own purposes?

  2. michael reynolds says:

    Incumbency’s a bitch.

  3. JKB says:

    What if this goes forward and the debate gets the higher ratings?

    And this may explain Sarah Palin’s putting her September 3rd address on hold, she’s going to announce right after on the 7th and show everyone who controls the media spotlight.

  4. Fiona says:

    Yep, obvious politics. The president could have easily picked another day. Everyone is going to see through this stunt and it won’t reflect well on him.

  5. Vast Variety says:

    This really seems like a boneheaded move by the White House.

  6. WR says:

    How dare the President of the United States lay out a plan to put the country back to work at the same time that a bunch of right-wing lunatics plan to spend two hours calling him a commie! Impeach him!

  7. Stan25 says:

    Another slap on face of the American public by the “Pretender in Chief”

  8. Tano says:

    I am not sure its a political move. Why on earth would the Obama administration want to discourage people from watching the debate? To see 8 clowns trying to outdo eachother in appealing to a radical fringe? The O campaign should pay to put on these debates.

  9. legion says:

    There’s no reason whatsoever for the President to address Congress to lay out a jobs plan that is likely to be little more than a rehash of ideas we’ve been hearing for the past two years.

    While that’s probably true, how is it substantially different from what will be said at the debate?

  10. PD Shaw says:

    What if this goes forward and the debate gets the higher ratings?

    Or what if it goes forward and reruns of Modern Family get the higher ratings?

  11. G A Custer says:

    Barry learned well in the school of commuity organization….words don’t mean anything when it comes time to put them into action. Underhanded tactics are cool as beer summits. That is the mentality of this guy. Goes on vacation and intentionally wants to adress congress to disrupt the Republican debate….sneaky, kids games like everthing else he does..for instance, the end run around congress on the Dream act…does this stuff when everyone has their back turned. What a sorry substitute for a leader of what was the greatest country on earth until now.

  12. @JKB: Fairly obvious that the dog shows on USA would probably beat anything broadcast on MSNBC, much less the POTUS.