Lowry: No sense of 'urgency' from White House on Syria war vote
Why is President Obama's Syria war resolution going down to a massive defeat in the House? Rich Lowry, writing at National Review, spoke to a source on the Hill who gives several reasons why Obama is bound to lose:
1) The debate started while members were scattered to the winds on recess, making it impossible for the White House to do any persuasion in person;
2) The chickens are coming home to roost in terms of the non-existent White House relationship with Capitol Hill. He shared a few stories of the chief White House lobbyist either not knowing key players he should know or not being recognized himself by key players (tellingly, my source doesn't know his name);
3) Even as the vote is swinging the wrong way, there seems to be no urgency on the part of the White House, which should be in a near panic.
If only a couple of dozen Republicans are in support, that means almost all Democrats have to vote in favor. Absent a big change that shifts dozens of votes all at once, my source expects the authorization to lose. "It's hard to find a precedent for a president imploding on something this big," he says.
I've mentioned several times on these pages that friends I've known for more than 30 years who still work on the Hill tell me that this is the absolute worst administration in their tenure as far as relations with Congress. Lowry calls it "non-existent" but that's not entirely accurate. My sources tell me that the Obama congressional lobbying shop has pissed off just about anybody of note, treating members like clerks, ordering them around, and, of course, doing their best to stick it to the GOP.
The curent whip count is 225 members opposed or leaning that way, and only 25 votes in favor. The Senate appears more favorably inclined, although those numbers could go south at any time because the majority is still undecided. Currently there are 24 Senators opposed or leaning that way with 25 in favor.
The president speaks to the nation on Tuesday night - his last chance to change minds and turn this disastrous situation around. With his Secretary of State saying that even if the resolution is defeated, the president could still take us to war, it may be that Obama really doesn't care much what the vote in the House might end up being.