Democrats are wringing their hands over the latest apparent sign that President Obama is a wimp: After yesterday's public squabble—the White House announced Obama's jobs speech would be September 7, at the same time as the GOP debate, which then prompted House Speaker John Boehner to issue an angry letter!—now Obama will give his speech on September 8. White House spokesman Jay Carney said today, "Our intention was merely for the president to address a joint session of Congress as soon as possible upon Congress’s return from recess. Both houses are supposed to be -- will be in session next Wednesday, so we asked for that day," adding that Boehner's office never objected when September 7 was initially requested.
Carney continued, "You know what? That’s fine - we’ll go Thursday. Our interest is not in having a political back-and-forth here, at all. … Look, Americans are sick and tired of the partisan bickering, the gridlock."
One Democratic congressional aide moaned to Politico, "The narrative about the jobs speech has now become about when the speech is given, not the substance of the speech." The White House apparently didn't tell either party about a September 7 speech either—a Democratic Senate aide said it was "pure Obama — keeping us in the dark until the last minute."
According to the Washington Post, "The dust-up underscored Obama’s dilemma as he attempts to show progress on the economy while distancing himself from a dysfunctional Washington." The NY Times also called the exchange between the White House and Boehner's office "a surreal volley of letters" and "a very public game of chicken."