Local expert weighs in on president's prime time speech

    By Rich Pierce{}

    September 10, 2013{}

    Jefferson County, OH

    President Obama is set to speak to the nation Tuesday night about the potential U.S. military intervention in the Syrian civil war.

    The president already faces an uphill battle with polls showing 60 percent of the country against military action. The news Tuesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin had come to diplomatic terms with Syria officials to release chemical weapons into the hands of the international community compounds that battle according to a local expert.

    Franciscan University political science professor Dr. Daniel Kempton said the focus of the president's address may need to change.

    "Obama has to again draw new criteria, and at the same time address the public relations problem created by President Putin's response," Kempton said.

    The new criteria may be to broaden the scope of reasons why the United States should intervene. Putin's diplomatic solution has muddied the waters.

    "Now, a solution is increasingly dependent on President Putin. The two are fairly well acknowledged to not have a great personal relationship," Kempton said.

    Kempton believes that with the new options on the table, President Obama will have to consider finding a peaceful alternative or risk creating an even more strenuous relationship with Russia.

    "Suddenly, there's a lot of players in the political initiative that are making proposals for a peaceful resolution that President Obama would now look as if he were preemptive if he ignored those," Kempton said.

    Kempton added that intervention is less likely than it was a couple of weeks ago.{}

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