Thursday, September 1, 2011

‘What we have here is a failure to communicate’

Picking up where they left off: Just like they did a month ago in the debt-ceiling fight, the Obama White House and Republican-led House yesterday battled over something that used to be routine: a presidential address to Congress. Once again, both sides looked bad.

Channeling “Cool Hand Luke,” it was “a failure to communicate.”

The White House scheduled Obama’s speech on Sept. 7, the same night as the already-scheduled NBC-Politico debate at the Reagan Library -- hardly a coincidence.

Then, in a move congressional historians say is unprecedented, House Speaker John Boehner rejected the president’s request, inviting him instead to speak the next night. And once again, the White House caved and agreed to the Sept. 8 date (which, by the way, coincides with the NFL’s season first football game).

“If the objective of the White House and Speaker Boehner was to demonstrate to the American people that they have gotten the message from the markets and from voters that our economic straits are so dire that it is time to set petty politics aside, they have failed before they started,” former Clinton administration official David Rothkopf told the New York Times. Exactly. 

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