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Obama hasn't decided yet if he'll abide by vote of Congress; Putin to the rescue

It was Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul who pressed Secretary of State John Kerry to answer if the administration was prepared to take Congress’ vote on intervention in Syria seriously. “You are making a joke of us” if the resolution isn’t binding, Paul told Kerry, saying the whole process was just theater.


In an interview televised this evening, President Obama reiterated that he hasn’t yet decided what he’ll do if Congress doesn’t back him up on his plan for an “unbelievably small” action to punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Kerry had said the idea of doing nothing in Syria was an idea “too dire” to contemplate, but it appears the president’s plan just doesn’t have the numbers in Congress. We’ll have to wait a bit longer to find out: Harry Reid had said earlier today that a vote would be taken Wednesday — the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks — but that’s been delayed. If that’s not a sign that the Senate Majority Leader doesn’t have the numbers, what is?


One other tidbit out of the president’s round of interviews today: the Russians have given Obama an out of this whole “red line” business. Russia has offered to take Syria’s chemical weapons off its hands and dismantle them. If that course can be verified, the strike would “absolutely” be put on pause.



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