Politico: White House still “furious” over one-day speech delay
Roger Simon at Politico lays out step by step the joint session imbroglio. The main point of contention in my mind is whether Speaker Boehner said yes to the White House before saying no. The Speaker’s office declared that no one in the office including the speaker ever signed off on the Wednesday night date. Simon evidently doesn’t believe that. He says Rush Limbaugh made a big fuss about the Wednesday night date after it was announced by the White House, and that this pushed Boehner to change his mind.
UPDATE, September 5: As of Friday, September 2, when I wrote the above entry, I leaned toward believing that Speaker Boehner’s office had to be lying when they said that Boehner had not given his informal approval to the White House’s informal requesat for a September 7 speech. It seemed impossible to me that the White House could have been so gauche as to make a public announcement of its plans for a September 7 presidential speech to the Congress unless Boehner had already given his informal ok to that date.
On Saturday morning, September 3, I read several more articles on the speech controversy. One thing that emerged was that the White House had sent a formal letter to the Speaker requesting the September 7 date and then released the letter to the media 15 minutes later. That fact, and the way it was spoken of by House Republicans, and various statements made by the players about other aspects of the affair, led me to believe (though I can’t explain exactly why at the moment without the texts in front of me) that in fact Boehner had not given his informal ok. I became convinced that Boehner was speaking the truth, and that the White House was lying.
That view was further strengthened by Maureen Dowd’s and Frank Bruni’s op-ed columns in the September 4 Times, in which these two liberals plainly stated that Obama had tried to gain an advantage over the Republicans with the September 7 date, and that Boehner had simply refused to go along.
Bottom line: the speech controversy was 100 percent Obama’s fault. All the rage of the Democrats about the “mean-spirited,” “partisan” Republicans who refused to do anything to cooperate with the president is just the usual Democratic lies. They knew Obama had messed up badly, and had to take out their fury on the Republicans.