I usually tend to think that the Obama administration has done a good job, and that criticisms of its alleged poor negotiating skills are unfair, considering the constraints the White House is under (i.e. the other party having won the last election). But yesterday’s dust-up over the timing of a joint session of Congress for the economic speech was what the sports writers call an “unforced error.”
If Obama was deliberately trying to preempt the Republican debate, it was a dumb idea considering that petulant members of Congress (some of whom are in fact running for president and will be participating in that debate) have the power to block or delay a joint session.
If Obama and his staff were unaware of the Republican debate, someone dropped the ball somewhere.
Now the White House looks weak because they were forced to change the time of the speech. What’s more, it looks like the speech is now going to conflict with the NFL season opener. Forced to choose between those two options, I know which one I’ll be watching.