Yesterday the Times reported on the daisy-petal plucking around the question of Congressional authorization for (in)action against ISIS in Syria. Obama didn't need authorization to lead from behind with his kinetic action in Libya, did need it to defend his red line in Syria, and didn't need it to support the Kurds in Iraq. So which way will the dial spin this time? Who knows? My guess is that with an election coming up Democrats won't want to be bullied into posing as tough guys and supporting an action they will later feel obliged to disavow, so any Congressional action will be deferred.
The Times notes an idea floating around that is so stupid that I expect the White House, or factions therein, are actually pushing it:
If the authorization is drafted narrowly enough — limiting military action to Iraq and Syria, ruling out any ground troops and placing a time limit on the operation — Mr. Obama could claim that it enshrines, rather than undercuts, his vision of a counterterrorism policy for the post-9/11 era.
Now, as then, Obama is looking for a way to advance US objectives while sending a reassuring signal of weakness and vacillation to his base. Good luck.