With so much changing in the past two days, President Barack Obama's speech Tuesday night urging possible military action in Syria was "a speech in search of a purpose," said Fox News Channel's Britt Hume.
"He came in search of a resolution he has asked Congress to postpone," Hume said. "I think the events of yesterday just overtook him. He had asked for the time, he'd announced the speech. I think he had to go through with it. I think he did the best he could with it."
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As late as Sunday night, Obama appeared to be painted into a corner over Syria. The red line he drew a year ago had been crossed when Syria gassed its own civilians in August, killing almost 1,500. Video showed children dead and dying from the effects of sarin gas.
With the public and Congress wary that a limited missile strike might cause retaliation against Americans or Israel, Obama sent his team and himself on a media blitz to round up support. He requested air time Tuesday night to plead his case to the public.
But an off-the-cuff statement from his own secretary of state early Monday was seized upon by Syria's ally Russia. The Russians have proposed letting international officials take control of Syria's chemical weapons in return for a promise from the United States not to strike.
Now, the White House is looking into the proposal and has asked for a diplomatic pause.
But the proposal was dead in House and is starting to fail in the Senate, Hume said. Nothing Obama said in his speech is going to change that, Hume added, "since it's going to be followed by this pause which will allow the effect of whatever he said to peter out."
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