Joint Session Of Congress
I think it's a mistake. Though Republicans will have to be on their best behavior, why wouldn't you use the power of the Oval Office, the gravitas of the same, and deliver an address looking directly into the eye of the viewers at home. That undergirds the seriousness of the effort. In a session to Congress, you have politicians as part of the show, and endless speculation on who cheered and who didn't.
That said, it will probably improve the chances of a bill. I just find it odd that the President hasn't talked directly to the camera in an Oval Office speech yet.
Meanwhile, the first element of this reset, before the joint session of Congress Sept. 9, is an AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic in Cincinnati. Considering, as I've said, that the AFL-CIO has adamantly stated that they wouldn't support any health care bill without a public option, this is either a good sign or a looming disaster.
I'm not as pessimistic as Josh Marshall, but we shall see what kind of mettle the President has soon enough.
...I'm told by sources that the WSJ report isn't quite right, that the President's remarks on Labor Day may be more generic in nature. I would be shocked if the words "health" and "care" didn't make it in there somewhere, however, and so if the AFL-CIO wanted to make their feelings known publicly, they have the opportunity to do so in front of the President.