Tags: Syria | syria | strike | hinge | pelosi

Syria Strike May Hinge on Nancy Pelosi

Friday, 06 Sep 2013 12:47 PM

By Wanda Carruthers

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Saying she hasn't asked "one person for a vote," House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi could be pivotal in persuading her Congressional colleagues to vote in favor of President Barack Obama's call for a military strike against Syria, reported the LA Times Thursday.

Pelosi told the newspaper that she is asking fellow Democrats to "consider the intelligence and to give . . . their views on what they might be willing to vote for."

"This is not one of those things where you can talk people into something. All you can do is supply them the information and hope they draw the conclusion that you wish," the California congresswoman said.

Pelosi, former Speaker of the House and current House Minority Leader, called on Obama to flesh out his case to the public for a military strike.

"I do think that it would be easier if there was a stronger case being made to the American people," Pelosi said. "People have to really know more about why the president has made this decision."

Pelosi, known for her anti-war stance on Iraq, is in the peculiar position of supporting the president and his call for a military strike. She justified military action by calling the alleged chemical attacks by Syria against its own people last week a "human-rights catastrophe," and argued that a "limited, targeted" attack could prevent further use of chemical weapons.

Pelosi, a 26-year House veteran, is adept at rounding up votes, and did it successfully to pass Obamacare. She is expected to intensify attempts to persuade fellow Democrats to back the president on the Syria issue when Congress returns from its summer recess next week.

One estimate
has the president losing the vote by roughly 3:1. so Pelosi faces an uphill battle.

"She's now squarely at the center of the emerging congressional debate," Don Kettl, dean of the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, told the Times. "She has to round up votes for her caucus on an issue where public-opinion polls make clear that Americans don't support what the president has in mind."

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