The National Journal’s Ron Fournier says a Democratic strategist “who works closely with the White House” told him that Syria “has been one of the most humiliating episodes in presidential history.”
Fournier says the Democratic operative “requested anonymity to avoid political retribution.”
In the wake of Obama’s address to the nation Tuesday night, other progressives have expressed frustration with his handling of the Syrian crisis. Progressive Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank said Obama’s speech contradicted statements by Secretary of State John Kerry just 11 hours prior to the president’s remarks.
“Kerry can be forgiven for being at odds with the president,” writes Milbank. “The president, in the space of his 16-minute address, was often at odds with himself… Nuance can sound a lot like a muddle.”
Before the speech, progressive New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd blasted Obama’s “flip-flopping, ambivalent leadership” on Syria.
“Amateur hour started when Obama dithered on Syria and failed to explain the stakes there,” wrote Dowd. “It escalated last August with a slip by the methodical wordsmith about ‘a red line for us’–which the president and Kerry later tried to blur as the world’s red line, except the world was averting its eyes.”
She added: “Obama’s flip-flopping, ambivalent leadership led him to the exact place he never wanted to be: unilateral instead of unified.”