09/04/2011 02:28 pm ET Updated Nov 04, 2011

The Joint Session: Boehner 1; Obama 0

What a set up for being one-upped!

Your advisers think they are clever to have you address a joint session of Congress at exactly the same time that the Republican Party has scheduled a debate -- with Rick Perry joining in for the first time -- purposely setting up a direct confrontation.

Per the Washington Post: "It is coincidental," said spokesman Jay Carney at the recent press briefing. "There are a lot of factors that go into scheduling a joint session of Congress for a speech. You can never find a perfect time. ... There are many channels to watch the president and to watch the debate."

What is not reported is whether the White House press corps broke into laughter at Carney's remarks or just rolled their eyes in disbelief. But the damage was done.

Per the New York Times:

Any hopes that a kinder, gentler bipartisan Washington would surface once Congress returns after Labor Day were summarily dashed on Wednesday when President Obama and Speaker John A. Boehner clashed over, of all things, the date and time of the president's much-awaited speech to the nation about his proposal to increase jobs and fix the economy.

In a surreal volley of letters, each released to the news media as soon as it was sent, Mr. Boehner rejected a request from the president to address a joint session of Congress next Wednesday at 8 p.m. - the same night that a Republican presidential debate is scheduled.

President Obama caved in -- he had no other choice -- and postponed his address until the next day. Elementary, my dear Watson. Even a cub reporter could guess what Boehner's reply would be to the president.

So, even before our Chief Executive steps up to the podium (not Wednesday but Thursday) to make this most important presentation to the Congress, the Republicans have won the first round.