The date and time for President Barack Obama’s much anticipated jobs speech is being set, and it appears that the president has a sense of humor, to say the least.
According to Politico, Obama has sent a letter to congressional leaders asking them to convene a special joint session at 8 p.m. eastern on September 7th. If that date rings a bell with you, it should — it’s the exact time as the Republican presidential debate being held in South Carolina. But White House spokesman Jay Carney says that the conflict is “coincidental.”
Carney said that the speech is not intended to overshadow the debate. “No, of course not,” he said. “There were a lot of considerations. Once you want to do a speech to Congress and you have to deal with congressional schedules and there are many other factors here … one debate of many that is on one channel of many was not enough reason not to have this speech at the time that we decided to have it.”
Republicans, meanwhile, are skeptical. RNC Chair Reince Prebius said the request was “further proof this [White House] is all politics all the time.”
Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid still need to approve the request, but that is generally just a formality.
UPDATE: So much for formality. Speaker of the House John Boehner has suggested the president change his speech to September 8th instead. Boehner too says this has nothing to do with the debate, but instead is necessary because Congress will just be returning to session and the logistics of getting a security sweep done in time for a major event is too tight. And Congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul is considering filing a formal objection to the request, in an attempt to block the speech from being held on the 7th.
photo credit: Chuck Kennedy, White House Photostream