A lot of people watched the President’s speech Thursday night, 27.5 million, to be exact. And we have the GOP to thank for it. When the White House announced that the jobs speech would be at the same time as the first Rick Perry GOP debate one of two things would happen: either he would talk on Wednesday or the speech would be moved to Thursday. If it was Wednesday the debate would be pushed back an hour and that is what it looked like the outcome would be. But then Rush Limbaugh jumped in. Balloon Juice continues:
But then Rush Limbaugh demanded that Speaker of the House, John Boehner, do something about it. In a rapid response to Limbaugh, [Boehner] became the first Speaker of the House to refuse the request of a President to speak to Congress. He suggested Thursday and President Obama accepted the change.
This, of course, generated a wave of howls and outrage from the predictable precincts of the left. The wingnuts celebrated and the media played up the controversy. The effect was to let even low information citizens know that the President was giving a major speech right before the start of football—and many of them decided to watch. This resulted in the GOP debate being a less than one day story and the President’s speech dominating the political news cycle—and framing the political agenda for the Fall—even as we head into the 10th anniversary of 9-11 and concerns of another possible attack.
The outcome would have been different if Boehner had just let the President speak at the requested time.
I wonder, does the GOP regret forcing the WH to move the date of Obama’s speech? Just imagine if he’d given it the night of the GOP debate. The next day, he’d be splitting the news cycle with Perry and Romney. Now, of course, he’s monopolizing it to the point where even a possible attack on NY isn’t crowding him out.
Instead, they were predictable [savages] about it and allowed the President to use them a foils. Now we are in for a fall where the President and the vast majority of Americans are demanding action on jobs.
Or maybe that’s just how things worked out. But whether the President out “jujitsued” Boehner or whether he just got lucky, it’s nice that the jobs plan has a better chance than it might otherwise. And if someone infers from this that jerking people around is bad strategy, then so much the better.