The speech was preceded by a day of wrangling over when it would actually happen. Speaker John Boehner, in a move widely seen as unprecedented, refused to allow Obama to speak when he wanted to, forcing him to reschedule the speech for the next day. Boehner said that there were votes that couldn't be missed, and a security sweep that would take too long.
Maddow noted the important business that the House attended to the night Obama wanted to speak: a vote authorizing a "charity jogging event," and a salute to a North Carolina softball team. "One vote and some non-binding speechifying," she said incredulously.
But Maddow seemed far more peeved that some Republicans refused to even turn up for the speech. She noted that at least four Republicans from the South announced before the speech that they would not be attending.
"There is apparently something about this president that erases the need for whatever deference Congressional Republicans might otherwise feel toward the office that President Obama holds," Maddow said, very, very pointedly. "I would love to hear them explain exactly what that is."