Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) has officially invited President Obama to give his State of the Union address before the Congress on February 12 and the President has accepted. From Boehner’s official invite:
Dear Mr. President:
Our nation continues to face immense challenges, and the American people expect us to work together in the new year to find meaningful solutions. This will require a willingness to seek common ground as well as presidential leadership. For that reason, the Congress and the Nation would welcome an opportunity to hear your plan and specific solutions for addressing America’s great challenges. Therefore, it is my privilege to invite you to speak before a Joint Session of Congress on February 12, 2013 in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol Building.
Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to your response.
The timing is very interesting because the debt limit will likely be reached sometime between February 15th and March 1st. This gives Obama an unparalleled opportunity to frame the possible fight, its solutions and consequences before the American people, just as the deadline approaches.
The bully pulpit has limited ability to change peoples’ minds on issues they already have formed opinions on, but it can be very useful in shaping how people see arcane matters and assigning blame.