Obama's job speech set for 7 p.m. ET next Thursday

US President Barack Obama delivers the annual State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol in Washington on Jan. 25, 2011, left, and Republican presidential candidates pictured (L-R) former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum; businessman Herman Cain; Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney; Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.; former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty; former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich during the Iowa GOP/Fox News Debate on August 11, 2011 at the CY Stephens Auditorium in Ames, Iowa. This is the first Republican presidential debate in the state ahead of Saturday's all important Iowa Straw Poll.
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Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidates
President Barack Obama, left, and Republican presidential candidates at the CY Stephens Auditorium in Ames, Iowa, right.
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Updated: 6:45 p.m. ET

After much ado, President Obama's jobs speech has been set for next Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, according statements released by the White House and the House Speaker John Boehner's office.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney confirmed the address timing on Thursday evening, noting that "after consulting with the Speaker's office," the president had accepted an invitation to address a Joint Session of Congress at that time.

Carney's statement came just minutes after the speaker's office released a similar note informing of Boehner's invitation to Mr. Obama.

"At his request, the Speaker has respectfully invited the President to address a Joint Session of Congress next Thursday at 7:00 p.m.," wrote Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck.

The news settles an extensive - and contentious - back-and-forth over the timing of the speech, which Mr. Obama had originally attempted to schedule on Wednesday, the same night as a long-since-planned Republican presidential debate.

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Boehner rebuffed that request yesterday afternoon, and the White House eventually acceded to his request that he move the speech back one day.

Now, Mr. Obama will deliver his remarks the same night as the first NFL game of the season between the Greenbay Packers and the New Orleans Saints.  The White House had confirmed earlier Thursday that the speech would take place before the game's 8:30 p.m. ET kickoff, but many thought it likely that it might conflict with NBC's pre-game show. 

When asked in his Thursday press briefing if Mr. Obama saw his remarks as the pre-game show, Carney laughed.

"It means that he'll have the opportunity to watch the game like millions of other Americans," he said.

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Carney stressed to reporters during the briefing that the scheduling conflict was "irrelevant" - and that "you are making so much more of this than is merited."

"Our focus from the beginning was to have the president have the opportunity to speak to the American people and to Congress...at the soonest possible date," Carney said. "When [Wednesday] seemed to be a problem, Thursday was fine with us."

Not everyone in the White House seems to think so.

According to a Thursday Politico report, one "White House source with intimate knowledge of what took place between the House and the president" thought Boehner's brushoff was "a big deal."

"It is a big deal that the House said 'no' to the president from our end," the source told Politico's Roger Simon. "This confirms what we all know: They will do anything in the House to muck us up."

"With all due respect, the POLITICO-MSNBC debate was one that was going on a cable station," the source said. "It was not sacrosanct. We knew they would push it back and then there would be a GOP debate totally trashing the president. So it wasn't all an upside for us."