Column: Obama faced with tough sales pitch

It isn’t terribly surprising that polls are showing Americans overwhelmingly disapprove of even a limited strike on Syria to punish that country’s ruling regime for using sarin gas on its own civilian populace. The United States is weary of conducting war on two fronts since 2001 and of its cost in lives and dollars. Even President Barack Obama’s promise of “no boots on the ground” in action to reinforce the longtime ban on chemical weapons hasn’t convinced the public — at least initially — that failing to act would be in the best interest of our national security.

The polls complicate the situation for Obama, who many believe is foolish in turning to Congress for approval even though he contends he has the authority to act on his own. But he has gained the support of some House Republicans, including Speaker John Boehner, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has approved a strike resolution. Whether that is enough will become clear this week, when lawmakers return from a month of listening to constituents in their home districts.


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