How best to stick it to President Obama--skip his jobs speech entirely or give your own, better speech? Michele Bachmann is opting for the latter. The Republican presidential candidate will hold a press conference immediately after Obama is done talking at about 8:30 p.m., The Hill's Josh Lederman reports. Though House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday he'll "wait and listen" for "what is it that we can agree on" in Obama's speech, Politico's Jake Sherman reports. Bachmann doesn't want to wait. She has declining poll numbers to think about. But some Republicans without presidential aspirations are taking a different route -- skipping school to watch the football game.
The congresswoman has followed Obama before--with mixed results. She gave the Tea Party response to Obama's State of the Union this year, but her message was lost amid all the jokes about how she stared at the wrong camera the whole time.
Even if you manage to look in the right direction, it's hard to compete with the dazzling images of a president addressing both chambers of Congress in all its late-18th-century splendor. That might be why there's no official Republican response to Obama's speech. (House Majority Leader Eric Cantor scheduled a speech to compete with Obama's remarks on Friday--on Cantor's home turf, at the less spectacular University of Richmond.) And maybe some Republicans are opting to make a statement by cutting class. The Washington Post's Felicia Sonmez reports that Representative Joe Walsh, Senator Jim DeMint, Representative Paul Broun, Senator David Vitter, and Representative Ron Paul (one of Bachmann's rivals for the 2012 nomination) won't be attending Thursday's event. A couple of them say they'd rather watch sports--the NFL season opener is also Thursday night. But DeMint told Fox News he's just sick of Obama's boring old speeches. "I am sick and tired of speeches, the president told us not only the stimulus but Obamacare would help the economy. Dodd Frank, mortgage bailouts; this is probably the 10th speech of various kinds as he said is his jobs speech," DeMint complained Tuesday. "I want to see something in writing." Maybe Obama should pass a note.