“He is very engaged on this issue … and it was probably one of the most remarkable moments I’ve had in Congress… We were sitting in the Blue Room … and the president spent almost two hours with us and answered every question with specifics, clarity and — I think — persuasion.” – California Rep. Jackie Speier [Politico]
IT’S A moment in Obama’s presidency where the power he wields was mustered on his own party. The Iran Deal received the Obama touch in Congress this week and the boss didn’t hide his feelings. It’s personal, something he believes in very much and he made sure every Democrat understood this.
One anonymous source quoted in Politico said, “It’s a different White House. He’s working this differently than I’ve ever seen him work anything and I think it’s making a difference.”
Seven years into his presidency it looks like Barack Obama finally met a cause that inspired him to find his inner Lyndon Johnson. Where a president meets a moment requiring marshaling forces bigger than he is alone using pressure, persuasion, and the intensity that skin in the game brings with it to make people follow your lead and trust you are right.
I laughed out loud when I read the polling on how Americans feel about the Iran Deal. If you asked these same people to find Iran on a map they’d fail. Ask them why they feel the way they do and the emotional argument would be given. Most Americans simply don’t know anything about foreign policy, so weighing the opinion of the country is a fool’s errand.
If you want to know how much the White House believes in the Iran Deal just consider the release of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard who has finally been granted parole after numerous pleadings by PM Benjamin Netanyahu. It’s not a coincidence that with Israel vehemently opposed to the Iran Deal, after innumerable attempts Pollard is finally released.
The Iran Deal is personal for President Obama and he has gone the full Lyndon Johnson to make this clear.
Obama dived into his pitch on the Iran nuclear deal, demonstrating his command of the nuances as lawmakers peppered him with questions. But the president who has infamously shied away from hardball politics when it comes to selling his policies also made abundantly clear he’s making an exception to secure what would be the biggest foreign policy triumph of his two terms.
He told the lawmakers they “owe me” the chance to persuade them to support the nonproliferation agreement, according to multiple members in attendance. He repeated comments made to lawmakers last week that they would not get a pass on the Iran bill — that he wants, and expects, their support.
“This is the most intense I’ve ever seen him,” Vermont Rep. Peter Welch, who supports the deal, said.