Rich Galen

"Our intelligence community has carefully reviewed and re-reviewed information regarding this attack, and I will tell you it has done so more than mindful of the Iraq experience."

In the Congress, the New York Times reported late last week that in the U.S. Senate there are 25 announced votes for a resolution, 18 against, and 57 undecided.

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) has said that the resolution would be subject to filibuster and thus would need 60 votes to pass - which he said he thought it would get.

In the House, the Times reported 40 votes for an attack, 153 against with 240 undecided or unknown (there are two vacancies).

In the House, a resolution will take 217 votes to pass - assuming everyone votes. If the 153 number is correct then the anti-intervention forces are only 64 votes short. The pro-Obama Members, on the other hand, need 177 more, or three out of every four of the Members who are listed as undecided or whose position is unknown.

Even at that, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va) showing no reason to hurry, wrote in a letter outlining the Fall legislative agenda that:

"Members should expect a robust debate and vote on an authorization of use of military force pertaining to Syria in the next two weeks."

This has been all hands on deck for the White House staff as they are being sent to the Hill to lobby Members one-on-one, but the pressure they are getting from home might make those visits meaningless.

The President needs to convince the American public that this is a necessary step. To that end, the President has taped, or will tape interviews with six TV networks: ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, Fox News. Those interviews will air prior to the President's Tuesday night speech.

Members whose offices are keeping track are reporting overwhelming opposition from constituents to an attack on Syria in the ranges of hundreds opposed to everyone in favor.

If that is true, then the President's frantic attempts to sway public opinion may turn out to be, in the words of H.R. Haldeman: TL2.


Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at Mullings.com.


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