A Joint Session of Congress will convene on September 8, 2011 to bestow the nation’s highest award, that of Speaker in Chief on President Barack Obama. The honor is a rare one indeed as Congress has only given it four other times in our nation’s history and never to a sitting US President. The first recipient, former President Teddy Roosevelt received it in 1911, followed by Senator Huey Long (D-LA) in 1936, former President Lyndon Johnson in 1970 and Vice President Al Gore,Jr. was honored shortly after his loss to Republican George W. Bush in the 2001 Presidential race.
The President had initially intended to
summon request a Joint Session of Congress in order to deliver his 967th prime time speech on the dismaying economic situation this country faces and to offer yet another a bold plan to borrow our way to prosperity jump start the economy. (see President’s Economic Recovery Plan) but faced imaginary potential opposition from the Republican controlled House of Representatives. However, GOP Congressional leaders accustomed to giving in decided to quit early and use the occasion to gloss over their cave and give the President the coveted Speaker in Chief award.
“This is a truly a great day for all Americans and for the President too. Once again, Congressional Republicans have responded to the President’s
demandrequest and in the process done more than anyone could have imagined. He is one of a select few Americans to receive such a prestigious award. He has given more speeches, to more people on more occasions than any man in historyand it is only fitting that we so honor his efforts in this way.” ~ Hour Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA)
Democratic Leaders on the Hill were uniformly enthusiastic in their praise for the move. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) stated “This is the right thing at the right time on the right day. The President will get an honor which, to my mind was long overdue
considering his rhetorical skills and also ponder lay out an outline for a bold new proposal to get our country back to work with China’s money. This is something that he could not have done in the Oval Office, on the phone, in a letter or in any other situation.” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi concurred “This President is the only one that can set things right and get Americans moving out of their foreclosed homes again and back to work in closed union shop states.”
However, not all Republicans were pleased with the developments. While most seemed to agree that the Speaker in Chief award was most certainly warranted, many did not feel like being
lectured instructed in economic policy by a President who, according to an unnamed Senior Senate staffer had ” blown through more than a trillion dollars like he was playing the penny slots at the Hard Rock.”