By now you’ve heard that the President, who’s been sitting on his jobs speech for days, if not weeks (or maybe years), has suddenly announced that he’s going to give it on the same night as a Republican presidential candidate debate that’s been schedule for months. It’s a tacky gesture, at best (and at worst, come to think of it). To the extent that Obama wants to address Congress, many are advising Boehner to say, “Sorry, no can do. Save it for another night.”
Anchoress has a better idea: given that the President’s speeches haven’t been very inspiring of late, delay the debate for an hour or two, so that it falls immediately after the President’s inevitably divisive, soporific and platitudinous speech.
I think Boehner should say, “by all means, Mr. President; we’re so anxious to hear your jobs plan that we’ll be glad to put off our debate by a few hours. Our candidates should have a chance to hear your ideas, so they can include them within the context of their own ideas about job creation. We welcome the opportunity to demonstrate our stark distinctions.”
That sort of response disarms Obama, who then won’t be able to crow “they don’t care about jobs” and it arms the debate participants, who will be able to go into their debate with Obama’s plans ripe for deconstruction.
This would be an especially good tactic for Perry and Bachmann, both of whom are dynamic speakers. It will also be good for Romney who, tho’ not dynamic, can speak about economic issues with tremendous authority. Obama will come off looking not only petty, divisive, soporific and platitudinous, he’ll also look ill-informed, unimaginative and, basically, small. (I do love my adjectives.)
Ace has an equally good idea, which is to have Boehner say, essentially, “If this is such an important issue, Mr. President, don’t wait. Give us your speech immediately!”
The one thing the Republicans shouldn’t do is play this squirrely game by Obama’s rules. As Anchoress says, rightly, “What the GOP needs to remember is that the Democrats no longer govern; they just maneuver, and they do it brilliantly. The GOP needs to learn how to do it.”
Really, when you think about it, it’s kind of a shame that my favorite pundits aren’t Republican tactical advisers. We can only hope that the Republicans are paying attention to them, even if they’re not paying them for their advice.