One wouldn’t think that it’s a big deal for the President of the United States to schedule a speech. But then, you would be wrong. In the politically heated atmosphere of Obama politics, even asking to set a speech date can make sparks fly.
Setting the Date
It all began on Wednesday when Obama put in a request for a special address to a joint session of Congress. Wednesday, September 7th was requested as the date to discuss the need for urgent action on America’s economic situation. John Boehner, however, said in a letter to Obama that the 8 pm speech wouldn’t work that night, and he recommended that the President move his speech back one day.
Speech Time Doesn’t Work
As Boehner wrote to the President,
“With the significant amount of time — typically more than three hours — that is required to allow for a security sweep of the House chamber before receiving a president, it is my recommendation that your address be held on the following evening, when we can ensure there will be no parliamentary or logistical impediments that might detract from your remarks.”
The speech request has apparently rubbed just about everyone the wrong way. The original time conflicts with a Republican presidential debate that will be held on the 7th at the Reagan Library in California. Republicans have complained that they weren’t given any advance notice of Obama’s plans and were only notified 15 minutes before the public release of Obama’s request was issued.
Going Against Protocol
Brenda Buck, Boehner’s spokesman, said
“Unfortunately, we weren’t even asked if that date worked for the House. Shortly before it arrived this morning, we were simply informed that a letter was coming. It’s unfortunate the White House ignored decades — if not centuries — of the protocol of working out a mutually agreeable date and time before making any public announcement.”
As of now, the speech will be on Thursday, September 8th, but one can assume that the controversy will not die down just because the speech will be delivered.