Setting The Tone: Why The Oval Office Address Matters For Syria

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – For a president who was often accused of excessive populism early on, this is a strange place.

WHNT News 19 Political Analyst Jess Brown describes the situation, “He’s way out on a political limb.  In fact, I can’t think of a time that this president has been this far out on a political limb, and by that I mean, out on a political limb, where clearly rank and file public opinion is simply not with him on this issue.”

The president has found some uncommon allies.  Moderate Republican John McCain supports the idea of a strike on Syria, but so does Speaker of the House John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

In this case, the president might find it’s the will of the people that trips him, with day after day of protest expressing displeasure with the idea of a Syria mission.

Brown says, “He’s got to make a very persuasive case, and typically when presidents want to make a very persuasive case to the nation, they either speak from the Oval Office or they address a joint session of Congress.”

A presidential address could influence the public, but it could also provide some key guidance on how the president views the Syrian conflict on the whole.  Brown suggests chemical weapons may not be our only interest in influencing the outcome of this conflict, “Neither the Israelis nor the Saudis want the current Assad regime, and so my guess is they see this as an opportunity for America to use the chemical weapons, slaughtering of innocent people kind of argument for us to go in and destabilize the Assad regime.”

The conflict in Syria rages on, and Tuesday night, we should get the clearest picture of yet of where the United States will stand on it.


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