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Obama's Speech Will Need To Be Early (Or Short?) To Avoid NFL

"Football fans take comfort," CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller says on his Twitter page. "WH official says Pres Obama's speech next Thursday won't conflict with NFL opening game."

We've looked at the schedule.

The game between the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers is set to go on the air (NBC-TV) at 8:30 p.m. ET. So, if by "won't conflict" the White House is referring to the actual contest, that would seem to mean the president will be done laying out his latest jobs plan by then.

Obama had planned, before the back-and-forth with House Speaker John Boehner over what day to do the speech, on a session that would get started at 8 p.m. ET. Factor in the time it takes for the president to get from the door of the House chamber to the microphones and any interruptions for applause (or objections?) and if all that didn't get going until 8 p.m. then you're probably talking about a speech that's in the 20-minute range. Pretty short for an address to a joint session.

Moving the address up to an earlier start — say, 7:30 p.m. or even 7 p.m. — is an option. But the conflict with the NFL doesn't entirely disappear.

There's the NFL Kickoff 2011 presented by EA Sports pregame show to consider. It's due to go on the air at 7:30 p.m. ET. This year's performers: Kid Rock, Lady Antebellum and Maroon 5.

Now, the White House may not worry about going up against the entertainers. Viewers, though, may have other ideas.

We'll update with word on the timing as soon as we hear more.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit


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