Labor Day Push

President Obama's request to address a Joint Session of Congress next week was a decision straight out of the Obama Administration's playbook of recent years, as officials try to push for action by lawmakers - this time on jobs and economic growth.

In 2009, Mr. Obama used a post-Labor Day speech to lawmakers to again make the case for action on his signature health care reform legislation - that was the speech where Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) shouted, "You lie!" at the President.

Last year, the President gave a nationally televised speech on Iraq just before Labor Day, and then tried to use a post-Labor Day White House news conference to spur action on several policy fronts with two months to go until the mid-term elections.

Maybe since that formula didn't really work last year, the White House decided to go to the well again with a speech to the House and Senate.

But the timing of the speech certainly raised a lot of eyebrows in political circles, coming on the same night - and at the exact same hour - as a previously scheduled Republican Presidential debate at the Reagan Library in California.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney denied any suggestion that the timing was made to overshadow the GOP debate, as he was repeatedly pressed on the move by reporters.

"The President is requesting this time to address the joint session of Congress at the same Republicans are holding a debate. Would you describe that timing as coincidental?" one scribed asked.

"It is coincidental," Carney maintained, as he basically argued that this GOP debate doesn't rate.

"Look, again, there's one President; there's 20-some odd debates," Carney said.

"This is an important moment for our economy. Congress is just coming back. He is addressing an issue that is of great significance to the American people as well as to the Congress."

About the Author