"And scheduling the speech during the GOP debate, even if Boehner had immediately acceded, is the one way the White House could guarantee a) that fewer voters would be watching and that b) viewers and pundits would pay less attention to the speech’s content and more to the theatrics around it. In other words, it’s the easiest way to lessen the speech’s chances at success. If this is a preview of Obama’s re-election campaign, Democrats should be very worried."
WaPo's James Downie.
But wait. It occurs to me that Obama may want to divert attention from the speech's content. What do you think the content is? For a month, he's been saying the big speech is coming — he's got a plan to restore jobs. If he really had an answer to the chronic problem, why didn't he reveal it right away? He's been working on something that would sound like he's got an answer, and, in all likelihood, he knew it wouldn't go through Congress, so the point was simply to be able to say: It's Congress's fault. I had a plan, but they wouldn't pass it. But he couldn't say that unless he really had a plan that would impress people. My guess is: He didn't even have that. That's why he reverted to the theatrics, lame as they were.
We'll see. It's my hypothesis. He went for theatrics because the actual content of the speech will be an embarrassing fizzle after the big build-up. His bluff was called, so the theatrics look particularly lame, but he may even prefer our gabbing about the lameness of the failed theatrics to our scrutiny of the actual substance of the plan.