I haven’t mentioned the dust-up about the scheduling of the President’s speech on the economy because I really wasn’t too impressed by all the ruckus. Frankly I thought the whole discussion was dumb. However, Michael Barone, who is considerably smarter than I am, posted a very interesting article about the kerfuffle at the Washington Examiner website tonight.
It is naive (at best) to believe that President Obama was unaware that the Republican presidential candidates were having a debate on the night that he first suggested making a speech about the economy to a joint session of Congress. I think it is also a safe guess that he knew this would be Rick Perry’s first appearance as a candidate and that Rick Perry is a definite threat to President Obama’s desire to serve two terms. I also expect that President Obama also assumed that someone would actually watch his speech (or the Republican debate).
Michael Barone points out that the request to give a speech before a joint session of Congress on Wednesday showed a lack of respect for the Constitution. Congress is a separate branch of government and is not subject to Presidential dictates. Mr. Barone points out that in the past when a joint session of Congress was requested by the President, the arrangements were made privately, then announced.
The original plan of a Wednesday night debate also showed a contempt for public opinion.
The article reports:
White House press secretary Jay Carney said it was just “coincidental” that the president wanted to speak at the same time as the Reagan Library debate. It was just “one debate that’s one of many on one channel.”
Wow. The article points out that in the past President Obama has tried to upstage opposition with scheduling.
The article lists some other weaknesses of the Obama Presidency that are becoming very apparent. I strongly suggest that you follow the link above and read the entire article. This is a difficult time for the President–the economy is not doing well and his poll numbers are falling–I expect we will see him play some serious hardball in the coming months.