ISIS, Putin, Republicans beware: Obama has awakened!

President Obama gave a very strong speech to the nation on Wednesday night, vowing to destroy the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorists and appealing to the American people and both parties in Congress for support while Secretary of State John Kerry travels across the Mideast, building a broad coalition to support the mission.

{mosads}This is an important moment for the Obama presidency and for contemporary world history. President Obama, faced with changing conditions in the world, made the correct U-turn and is taking a far more forceful position against ISIS, which also presages an even more forceful position against Russian strongman Vladimir Putin’s efforts to subvert eastern Ukraine.

It is important to emphasize that the American people are making the same U-turn Obama is making, as public opinion supports a more forceful and aggressive American and allied response. The correct change in public opinion, the correct change of U.S. policy, the decision to address the American people on national television in prime time from the White House (which I have long urged the president to do) are all major and positive events with lasting implications.

The new government in Iraq is reaching out to Sunnis and Kurds, Saudi Arabia has agreed to join the anti-ISIS coalition and host a major training center to support moderate Syrian rebels, and I expect even more favorable results to be announced soon from Kerry’s coalition-building visit to the Mideast.

Since an important midterm election is approaching, there is a high probability that if the president sustains his current and more forceful course of action, his favorability ratings will rise, which can only help the Democrats in the midterms. The question is how much — only time will tell.

Make no mistake, this is a very big week for America and the world as President Obama has awakened from a slumbering summer with a new forcefulness, clarity and self-confidence.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. Contact him at

Tags Barack Obama Iraq ISIS Islamic State in Iraq and Syria John Kerry Russia Saudi Arabia Syria Ukraine Vladimir Putin

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