Apparently aware that despite polls showing most Americans supporting the Iran nuclear deal, most in the Senate are opposed, President Obama has reportedly sought to reassure Senate Dems that there was a good chance no nuclear deal would be reached at all.
During a cocktail party Tuesday night, Obama told a group of Senators, including Dick Durbin (D – IL) that he believed the chances of a deal were “less than 50-50 at this point” and that the US would walk away if they thought the deal was too weak.
Obama is believed to be trying to tamp down media reports that a deal is close, and that the White House is desperate to get a pact done by Thursday to give Congress less time to vote on the matter, believing Congress will have a harder time voting the deal down if they only have 30 days. They would have 60 days to debate the matter if the deal is reached after Thursday.
While the White House seems eager to retain a narrative that a deal is unlikely and that they might end the talks at any moment, it’s hard to see how they will transition this to support for a deal if one is actually reached.The policy seems to be to avoid debate on the deal for as long as possible, but may backfire in creating more resistance to the pact by leaving the anti-deal lobbies the only ones talking about it.