President Obama schedules an address before a joint session of Congress on the same day as a previously-scheduled Republican debate:
The speech will fall on the same night Texas Gov. Rick Perry makes his debut on the 2012 GOP debate stage. The Republican presidential field is set to take part in a debate, also scheduled to begin at 8 p.m., at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. The debate will go on as scheduled, NBC said in a statement Wednesday.A few brief thoughts:
Asked whether the speech was purposefully scheduled the same night as the Republican debate, White House press secretary Jay Carney said, “Of course not.”
- I think we can safely assume that Carney's assertion on the timing is baked wind.
- Unless Obama is planning to declare war on someone, a joint session seems like overkill. Maybe he can interrupt his speech in the middle and launch a Tomahawk missle at Bashar Assad from the podium. That would be entertaining.
- If the Republican debate draws higher ratings than Obama, it will send a useful message.
- I plan on watching the Packers that night. [Wait, aren't the Packers playing the next night? -- Ed.]
- Good point -- the Packers play the next night. Still, I'm sure I can find hours of pregame Packer hype the night before the game and that would be far more edifying than anything Obama is likely to say.
- The one useful thing about the president's power play is this: he's once again demonstrating his arrogance in a way that is sure to rankle a lot of people. I'm guessing that a lot of people would rather watch the normal prime time shows than listen to the president drone on about Green Jobs 3.0 or whatever the hell he's going to discuss.
- After a while, I get the sense that the television networks are going to get tired of this sort of thing. They lose ad revenue when the president commandeers the airwaves and let's face it, they have a business to run. I'm guessing that for CBS, "Big Brother" usually draws better than the Big Brother in the White House. And it's less contrived, too.