President Obama Sends Mixed Messages on Syria

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Sept. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Peter Cook and Michael McKee report on reaction to President Barack Obama's speech about Syria last night. They speak with Trish Regan on Bloomberg Television's "In The Loop." (Source: Bloomberg)

About that nationally televised address.

Has he been able to change anyone's opinion?

I don't think last night's speech moved the needle at that much.

If anything, maybe the president moved things with his own democratic party, particularly liberal democrats who have been very resistant to the idea of any sort of know terry action against stashing of military action against syria.

He may have satisfied some of the democrats that -- if he has to come back and say, look, these talks have known him, we have to pursue military action.

We also heard from scott rijo, republican from virginia, that the president is supporting something else.

But a very uphill fight.

This president has been spared an embarrassing defeat in congress.

If that vote were held today, and it is clear it would go down in the house.

Any idea how long it will be delayed for?

If diplomacy works out, they be we never come back to congress, and that would again spared the president from that kind of confrontation.

Some lawmakers say we should incorporate this diplomatic initiative in a new resolution, still leave the threat on the table in that resolution.

Carl levin, the powerful chairman of the senate armed services committee, has raised that possibility, lengthening the president's hand -- strengthening the president's hand.

Peter cook, thank you very much.

Mike mckee joining us as well.

We were talking earlier about the impact on the economy, and you are making the point that syria does not really export a lot of oil, thus it is not going to have a tremendous effect, at least if it is a short-lived crisis.

We have had a lot of instability in the middle east over the last year.

As syria is not adding all that much to it, and we have not seen in impact on gasoline prices, and that is what affects the overall u.s. economy the most.

What about this sense that it could affect the public psyche?

The idea that we could potentially be getting into a situation that we may not want to be in question mark how does that affect people's spending?

If they feel it will affect them, people tend to pull back.

We have not seen that reflected in consumer confidence numbers.

Nobody wants to go to war.

It is somewhat depressing but not an overriding concern economically for people.

They are not thinking they will lose their jobs because of it.

Peter, some people believe this is simply a stalling tactic , that syria and russia that have come up with.

And that eventually we will come back and it will be restarted.

What are you hearing from lawmakers on that?

A lot of skepticism.

A lot of people in washington do not trust vladimir putin and bashar i love side.

-- bashar al-assad.

They are willing to give this a try for now because they realize that there is not a lot of public support right now.

There is not a lot of support in congress for military action.

But if these talks do not work out, that is ultimately where we could be headed.

We are reticent.

The notion that vladimir putin could be the guy throwing a lifeline to president obama is an image people in washington have a hard time come to grips with.

How does the president, out from all of this?

Will he be damaged?

Will he be not seen as the leader some hoped he would be seen as?

There are questions about the president's -- how this is played out, the stop and start effort with syria.

There are questions about how much damage has been done to the president, but he has an opportunity to avoid military action by the united states and still get to some extent what he sought in the first place, adding the message to syrians that the use of chemical weapons violate an international norm, and potentially the idea that the syrians would give up those weapons and have been destroyed by international monitors -- people were talking about it a few days ago, now it is at least an idea on the table.

Is it highlighting his inexperience in diplomacy or politics?

The idea that he came out and said there was this red line and now it is coming back to haunt him.

It put him in a box of sorts.

He tried to make the case that the red line was an international red line, not something he said.

At his own credibility is on the line.

His has a much wider implications than the conflict with syria.

We have been talking about the notion of his own domestic agenda being harmed if this does not go as he hopes.

Al hunt said it last night in our special -- this president could be lucky in this instance if the initiative from the russians succeeds.

Maybe that springboard him to success not only on the international stage but domestically.

That allows him to go back to the middle class, education issues at home.

This could work to his way domestically politically.

If it drags on long enough at the end of the budget year, that brings us close to the debt ceiling, two issues at have to be solved.

If there is the need to be bipartisan and not seen as attacking the president, he may be able to leverage that in congress.

We are seeing tomorrow i'm meeting of the top four leaders on the budget.

I don't want to -- in a funny way, it might be able to help him.

It probably does not do political damage because the republicans did not like him anyway.

It is more what happens overseas, his credibility.

And, trish, remember it is a meeting with congressional leaders that john kerry at the same time that he will meet with russian counterparts.

Peter cook, mike mckee, thank you so much.

Still ahead everyone, former fdic chair sheila bair.

And apple shares are being

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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