While the initial reports on the State of the Union speech were that President Obama would focus on reassuring Americans that the ISIS war wouldn’t snowball into something much larger, the most recent reports are that he will center foreign policy comments on a push for Congressional authorization for that conflict.
Analysts say they’ve been told he will offer a “full-throated defense” of the ISIS war in general, while pressing Congress to give him a rubber-stamp authorization for it. This likely means the assurances about the war not escalating will be as empty as they’ve been in recent months.
By law, a war should have a Congressional vote within 90 days. There was no vote, as the outgoing Congress didn’t want to make this an election issue, and President Obama is now seeking it, much after the fact, from the new, more hawkish Congress.
Obama has insisted in the past he doesn’t need authorizations for his assorted wars, but now he is pressing for one simply to prove that the government is “united” in the new war. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R – SC), an outspoken hawk, has promised to support any authorization.