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WASHINGTON - JULY 23: U.S. President Barack Obama (R) meets with Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) (L) in the Cabinet Room of the White House. Yesterday Boehner walked left debt negotiation talks with the Obama Administration, but accepted an invitation to meet with Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-AZ) and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-MD) today. (Photo by Kristoffer Tripplaar-Pool/Getty Images)
It was, to say the least, not artfully played.
President Obama's announcement of his intention to address the nation next Wednesday on jobs immediately drew sparks with House Speaker John Boehner, since it conflicted directly with a long-scheduled GOP presidential debate.
The President was forced to back off and delay his speech, after fielding accusations that he was deliberately trying to undermine the audience for the GOP event, which is being held at the Reagan Presidential LIbrary in Simi Valley.
What the flap has done is help boost interest in the debate, which is being sponsored by Politico and NBC News.
"It's become a pretty big deal," California Republican Party spokesman Mark Standriff told Prop Zero.
The event was already significant because it's the first one to involve newly-announced candidate Rick Perry, Standriff said. The timing dispute has heightened interest, he believes, and will probably be a part of debate itself.
"In the debate, they may ask a question about the timing," Standriff said. "If I were MSNBC, I know I would."
Sponsors of the debate would've been furious if the President had kept to his original schedule and upstaged the event.
His decision to delay his address to Thursday defuses that anger, but raises questions about the White House's judgement.
That's not something the President needs, heading into election season.