United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power argued the administrations case for military action before the generally liberal Center for American Progress in Washington Friday the kind of audience that now finds itself allied with the conservative tea party movement on Syria. On Saturday, Secretary of State John Kerry flew to Lithuania, where he met with European foreign ministers, who agreed with the US that the Aug. 21 alleged chemical attack said to have killed more than 1,400 people appears to have been the work of the Syrian regime. Want your top political issues explained? Get customized DC Decoder updates. Sec.
But this narrative, of a commander in chief dependent on using the bully pulpit to save his presidency from a potentially crippling defeat, is only one way to think about the coming showdown in Congress. In fact, it might mischaracterize the way presidential power is exercised while overlooking other factors that ultimately will determine whether Obama succeeds in winning lawmakers support. That, at least, is the implication of a paper written by George C. Edwards III, a political science professor at Texas A&M University. The paper, Persuasion Is Not Power, was presented at the American Political Science Association meeting last weekend in Chicago.
Obamas speech is slated for Tuesday evening. Secretary of State John Kerry is also pushing the case, speaking in France on Saturday. A State Department official said Kerry also placed calls Saturday to top officials in the Arab League, Egypt, Mexico, Russia and Saudi Arabia, as well as the leader of the Syrian opposition forces, Ahmad Jarba. Aaron Blake covers national politics at the Washington Post, where he writes regularly for the papers Post Politics and The Fix blogs. A Minnesota native and graduate of the University of Minnesota, Aaron has also written for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and The Hill newspaper. He joined the Post in 2010.
Obama’s heartland overwhelmingly against Syria policy
Credit: Reuters/Grigory Dukor By Steve Holland and Anthony Boadle ST. PETERSBURG, Russia/BRASILIA | Fri Sep 6, 2013 11:13pm IST ST. PETERSBURG, Russia/BRASILIA (Reuters) – President Barack Obama promised on Friday to look into a report the United States spied on the leaders of Brazil and Mexico, allegations that have caused tensions in Washington’s ties to its two biggest Latin American partners. Obama met with presidents Dilma Rousseff of Brazil and Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico during an international summit in Russia and discussed reports that the U.S. National Security Agency snooped on their personal communications and phone calls.
Petraeus backs Obama administration on Syria
Why get involved in another civil war we can’t shape or control? Why does America need to be the world’s policeman once more? Who are the good guys in this conflict? Congressman Elijah Cummings hunted for voters who supported President Obama’s Syria policy but found very few. Credit: Reuters Cummings is a key vote for the President when the House of Representatives votes on the Congressional resolution next week.
Obama: U.S. will probe reported NSA spying on Brazil, Mexico
Petraeus also said that the planned aerial assault “is necessary” to both enforce the international laws forbidding the use of chemical weapons and to “degrade the [Assad] regime’s overall military capabilities.” Petraeus statement was endorsed by Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), who described the retired general as the most respected military leader of our time. The administration says the Syrian government was behind a chemical weapons attack on August 21. Though some in the military community have questioned just how effective Tomahawk missiles would be in impacting al-Assad’s military assets, Petraeus’s stamp of approval could give Republicans and Democrats in more conservative districts the necessary political cover to vote for a controversial resolution. Petraeus’ statement comes amid a renewed push by the White House to sell members of Congress on the administration’s plan. In addition to his scheduled address to the nation Tuesday evening, student loans Obama the President scheduled six interviews with major television outlets for Monday, including CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.