Try Again, Mr. President

It's not often that a White House publicly asks to be invited to speak to a Joint Session of Congress without working out a date with Congressional leaders.  And it's not often that the Congress tells a President to find a different date.  But that's what happened on Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

Just before noon, the White House announced that it had asked to speak to lawmakers on Wednesday night, September 7, in order to lay out economic growth plans.

That would be the same time on September 7 as a Republican Presidential debate.

While most news organizations automatically set the speech for that night, some of us remembered to note that Congress has to approve any plan for a President to speak in the House Chamber.

Sure enough, Speaker John Boehner wrote back later in the day to urge the President to find a different time, without even mentioning that GOP debate schedule.

"It is my recommendation that your address be held on the following evening, when we can ensure that there will be no parliamentary or logistical impediments that might detract from your remarks," Boehner said.

"From one Speaker to another...nicely done John," said former Speaker Newt Gingrich, who will be one of the eight GOP hopefuls on the stage at the Reagan Library next Wednesday night.

It's not often you see something like this played out in public.

Most people probably don't know that in order for the President to speak to the Congress, there must be an invitation - and the Congress must also approve a resolution in both the House and Senate for that purpose.

Since the House isn't back in session until next Wednesday, it would only take one objection to scuttle last mintue work on  resolution for a Presidential speech, and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who is supposed to be debating his GOP colleagues, was making rumblings that he would stand in the way of any such plan.

The White House did not formally react to the Speaker's suggestion for a Thursday night speech, which would also have a major conflict - the opening game of the NFL season.

The bottom line here is that the White House played a little politics by picking the same date  - and the exact same time - as the GOP debate; Republicans then played a little politics in return by offering up another date.

Maybe this is also an indication of what we're in for when it comes to partisan battling this fall; both sides ready to jab each other as often as possible, both parties pointing the finger of blame at each other.

It left us scratching our heads in the Press Gallery, wondering just what the next few months will hold in the political arena that is Washington, D.C.

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