Recently, an unpopular Obama decided the best way to exercise presidential authority was to put off golfing for a day, request that a Republican-controlled Congress grant him a joint session to introduce his long-anticipated jobs program speech, and do it in the same time slot as the next GOP presidential debate.
Didn’t this same President recently send a message to America that nationwide joblessness did not take precedence over his saving or creating jobs for ice cream stands, bookstores, and tony restaurant owners on Martha’s Vineyard? While the unemployment line grew, Obama bided his time golfing, dining and beaching.
Now that vacation is over, Barack went back to work by attempting to elbow his way into the House chamber on the same night as the Republican debate. President Obama’s inconsiderate timing coincided with a long-planned Republican debate set to take place at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, thus the speech “we have been waiting for” had to be rescheduled.
Allegedly, Boehner’s polite denial of the President’s ill-timed request is going over about as well as it would if Maxine Waters were forced to attend a Tea Party rally.
Yet the White House did not see [the scheduling] as an obstacle… A White House source said ‘With all due respect, the POLITICO-MSNBC debate was one that was going on a cable station…It was not sacrosanct. We knew they would push it back and then there would be a GOP debate totally trashing the president. So it wasn’t all an upside for us.’
“With all due respect,” does the White House source know whether Obama has ever made a public appearance where he didn’t totally trash the GOP?
Historically, joint-session presidential speeches are typically reserved for State of the Union addresses and other pressing, momentous issues such as the start or end of a war. Obama’s joint-session jobs speech request may indicate the President equates a Congressional impasse with war.
It gets better. In a stunning admission of cluelessness, White House staff claim to not know exactly what Barack Obama is “going to say in his major jobs speech.” Earth to staff – neither does the President, because he likes to leave the ‘what’ to the Teleprompter.
However, what the staff does know is “where and when he [wants] to say it.” The ‘where’ will be in the chamber of the House of Representatives, but not on the day America’s Job Creator thought the nation would be riveted to his every word.
Reportedly, the controversy started when Bill Daley initially followed protocol and phoned up House Speaker John Boehner, asking that a joint session of Congress be called for the President to inflict more empty liberal blather on America on the same evening as a major Republican debate.
A number of Republicans in both the House and Senate told Boehner they would agree to a joint session because “it was hard not to for both historic and political reasons.” However, “the timing had to be on their terms, which meant it could not conflict with the Republican debate.”
The White House put its own predictable spin on the Republican response: “This was a political thing, a tea party thing, a Rush Limbaugh thing. They were all giving Boehner gas.”
It was later revealed that, even though “No one in the speaker’s office – not the speaker, not any staff – signed off on the date,” without official approval from Boehner an arrogant White House circumvented protocol and announced the speech would go forward.
Boehner responded by recommending that Obama “push his speech back a day.” Unfortunately, the day “just happened to be the evening the Green Bay Packers was [sic] meeting the New Orleans Saints in the NFL season opener.”
Truth is, while Barack Obama may fancy himself spellbinding, for most Americans a one-hour Teleprompter session watching the President imitate a bobble head cannot possibly trump NFL football. Hence the President, after grudgingly stepping aside for his political adversaries, was first forced to change the day and then to schedule his epic speech around a politically incorrect pigskin ball and big guys in padded helmets.
If the jobs speech is so pressing, why wasn’t the Teleprompter just set up somewhere else? Because, as a White House source argued, “You can’t speak for 40 minutes from the Oval Office.” Especially “after a month of world chaos” – interrupted only by golf and vacations – “the setting had to match the topic.”
Obama could have addressed the nation from the East Room. A White House spokesperson said “No.” “He’s [not] going to speak to an empty East Room with just the Teleprompters and staff there.” On second thought, with the brazen fly situation in the East Room, choosing another venue was probably a good idea.
Either way, the White House is so committed to a joint session that Barack Obama agreed to acquiesce, reschedule his monumental speech around a Gipper-hosted debate, and relinquish the post-speech political pom-poms to two squads of NFL cheerleaders.
A White House source with private knowledge of what took place between the House and the President said “It is a big deal that the House said ‘no’ to the president from our end…This confirms what we all know: They will do anything in the House to muck us up.”
Not so, it’s just that Obama’s attention-getting maneuver backfired; as a result, he’ll have to patiently wait a whole day to portray Republicans as the sole thwarters of economic recovery. Obama overstepped his bounds and John Boehner and the Republicans, in the spirit of football, pushed back, denied the President’s request, and now Barack the Bully is peeved that the Speaker stood up to manipulative Chicago in-your-face political abuse.
Joint-session jobs speech or no joint-session jobs speech, Obama is learning he cannot do whatever he wants, a reality that is viewed negatively by the White House as a “very consequential” matter. “It is a big deal,” one source said. “It shows the House Republicans will do no outreach, nothing.”
No it doesn’t. It just shows the GOP can emulate the President’s signature “I won” leadership approach and, despite a reputation for being disagreeable, agree with our esteemed leader’s opinion that after winning an election, they too can do whatever they please.