Emerging from their meeting with Obama on Syria House Republicn leaders John Boehner and Eric Cantor showed that, if nothing else, this is not their first rodeo and they do not intend to be cast as rodeo clowns. Their subtle ploy - smile, back Obama, and let him do the heavy lifting. Here is Cantor:
"I intend to vote to provide the President of the United States the option to use military force in Syria. While the authorizing language will likely change, the underlying reality will not. America has a compelling national security interest to prevent and respond to the use of weapons of mass destruction, especially by a terrorist state such as Syria, and to prevent further instability in a region of vital interest to the United States.
“Understanding that there are differing opinions on both sides of the aisle, it is up to President Obama to make the case to Congress and to the American people that this is the right course of action, and I hope he is successful in that endeavor.
Left unsaid - "Thank you and good luck, Mr. President. Most of the House Republicans have their contact information posted on their websites and I am sure they will be eager to hear from you."
I have the strong impression that neither Boehner nor Cantor will be twisting Republican arms, or even dialing their phones, to make this authoriztion happen. And to whether Team Obama can rustle up some Republican votes, let alone corral Nancy Pelosi's grandson, time will tell.
But publicly they are all smiles and support, so who can blame them if the votes aren't there?
ASK THOSE FOR WHOM THE SHOE FITS: Nancy Pelosi seems to be suggesting that the typical anti-war lib is having the same reaction as a five-year old. Condescending, yes? Or is she prepping herself for an appearance on "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader"? Left unasked - where is Amy Carter when the Dems need her?
MORE THAN A FEELING... Here is Politico, a bit later in the day:
On Syria, House GOP won’t follow their leaders
The whip count on Syria has become like the war itself: No one in Washington wants to own it alone.
While most top congressional leaders have vowed to back President Barack Obama in seeking authority to launch missile strikes, there’s little evidence that they can — or even want to — help him round up the rank-and file-Republicans he’ll need to win a vote in the House.
Speaker John Boehner’s spokesman said that he “expects the White House to provide answers to members’ questions and take the lead on any whipping effort.” Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), whose aides and allies run the whip process, isn’t yet in favor of Obama’s request for military authority in Syria.
I don't think Obama could lead a bunch of thirsty sailors into a bar on the 4th of July, so I don't have much confidence in his ability to whip the House Republicans. But it gives his team a chance to learn a lot of new names!
And Boehner and Reid have already promised a vote so the "Hastert rule" under which the Speaker won't bring a bill to the floor without the approvbal of a majority of the Republican caucus won't be in effect.
AND ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE AISLE:
Van Hollen — a key member of the Dem leadership who is also respected by Congressional liberals —...
declined to say whether he thought a majority of House Dems would support Obama’s request in the end. “I don’t know the answer to that,” he said. “This is a matter of conscience, and each member must make up his or her own mind. This is not an issue that will be whipped by the Democratic leadership, so the president will have to make his case to members of Congress individually.”