Obamateurism of the Day

Needless to say, Barack Obama’s joint session request to John Boehner didn’t win him any competence points — from either side of the aisle. Guess who wrote this rather biting criticism of the attempt to hijack attention from the Republican presidential debate on September 7th:

Obama’s press secretary, Jay Carney, claims it is pure coincidence that the Obama administration happened to schedule this speech at the exact same moment as Rick Perry’s first primary debate performance.  Carney suggested the Republicans re-schedule their debate for the night after Obama’s address. This suggests either the Obama administration is either extremely incompetent or just remarkably petty. …

This scheduling decision seems more like an incredibly petty move by the White House, designed to step on the Republican debate, and an attempt to prevent Rick Perry from being the big story the next day.

What makes this childish, passive aggressive act really ironic is that Obama will probably use the speech to call for more civility in Washington and ask for both sides to work together.  But needlessly stepping on the other party’s important events isn’t how you actually go about promoting civility and encouraging cooperation.

RedState?  Daily Caller?  Investors Business Daily?  Er … how about Jon Walker at the left-wing activist website FireDogLake?

If Obama wanted to pre-empt the debate, he should have just given the speech from the Oval Office, and that way he wouldn’t have had to ask John Boehner for the use of Congress as his venue.  Now he’s stuck between two unpalatable options, as ABC reported last night:

Obama’s request for the joint session on Wednesday would have conflicted with a planned debate of Republican presidential candidates in California. Boehner’s request for the joint session on Thursday conflicts with the opening game of the NFL season.

And let’s not forget the last time Obama had a conflict between a major speech and other preplanned televised events — he moved his speech rather than interfere with it.  Of course, that TV event was much more important than one that helps voters select Obama’s opponent in 2012:

President Obama had a message for the American people Monday night, an explanation of the government’s intentions in Libya, one that he believed was important enough to request air time from the broadcast networks as well as the cable news networks.

But the administration also recognized that some networks, like ABC, had important priorities of their own: the programs they had scheduled for prime time Monday — like “Dancing with the Stars,” the second most-watched show on television.

After some friendly negotiations, all parties agreed to a mutually acceptable time: 7:30 Eastern, which meant the speech on the military situation in Libya could be delivered — and analyzed — in time for the fans of “Dancing,” as well as other scheduled network shows, to see the shows they expected to see at their regularly scheduled times.

So, uh, Obama moved a war speech to accommodate a dancing show, but can’t come up with any other time to talk about his jobs plan except to interrupt the Republican presidential debate.  Childish amateur, indeed.

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

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