UPDATE: President Barack Obama blinked in the staring contest with House Speaker John Boehner. Tonight, the White House agreed to move Obama’s speech to Thursday, the night of the opening game of the NFL season. The time of the televised address is TBD.
PREVIOUS: President Obama’s normally routine request to address a joint session of Congress has gotten pushback from Speaker of the House John Boehner, who took the rare step of asking the president to reschedule for the next day. Obama wanted to speak to Congress about jobs and the deficit on Sept. 7. “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,” Boehner wrote to the White House. Insiders, meanwhile, say that the TV schedule is the biggest logistical problem: NBC News and Politico are hosting a debate of GOP presidential candidates on Sept. 7 at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA, and the fact Obama wanted to speak during MSNBC’s telecast has been taken as a jab at Republicans. If that’s true, fellow GOP’er Boehner’s solution to the problem has a nice bit of wit to it: His suggestion to move Obama’s speech to Sept. 8 puts it right in line with the opening of the TV-ratings-rich NFL season and a matchup of Super Bowl champion Green Bay against New Orleans in primetime on NBC. It’s a safe bet the first to budge won’t be Aaron Rodgers.