According to the LA Times more folks watched President Obama than tuned into opening game of the NFL season, which drew 27.5 million viewers. The President has given other speeches that pulled more viewers—like his first speech to a joint session of Congress in February 2009 and the night he announced the death of Bin Laden—but some recent major speeches did not have the pull to push through the clutter and get the Nation’s attention. This one did. A big reason why is because President Obama was able to count on Republicans being predictable assholes.
When he announce the speech to be at the same time as the first Rick Perry GOP debate one of two things would happen: either he would talk on Wednesday or the speech would be moved to Thursday. If it was Wednesday the debate would be pushed back an hour and that is what it looked like the outcome would be until Rushbo demanded that Boehner do something about it. In a rapid response to Limbaugh, the Orange Speaker became the first Speaker of the House to refuse the request of a President to speak to Congress. He suggested Thursday and President Obama accepted the change.
This, of course, generated a wave of howls and outrage from the predictable precincts of the left. The wingnuts celebrated and the media played up the controversy. The effect was to let even low information citizens know that the President was giving a major speech right before the start of football—and many of them decided to watch. This resulted in the GOP debate being a less than one day story and the President’s speech dominating the political news cycle—and framing the political agenda for the Fall—even as we head into the 10th anniversary of 9-11 and concerns of another possible attack.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Cheeky White House