Obama set to change course?

So … just when you thought you knew what President Obama would say in a highly anticipated speech to the nation about the crisis in Syria, a potential game-changer has been tossed into his lap.

The president will speak to the nation tonight at 8 p.m.; Panhandle PBS will televise the speech from the White House.

He had been set to seek to persuade Americans that a military strike against Syrian military targets was the right response to reports that Syrian troops used chemical weapons in August against civilians. He still might walk Americans down that path when he speaks to the nation tonight.

However, something big — maybe decisive — happened overnight when Syria accepted a proposal to hand its chemical arsenal over to international inspectors, who then would dispose of them.

Obama said he would consider delaying a military strike if the Syrians accepted the deal put forth by the Russians. He also has said he remains skeptical that Syria will follow through on its pledge to turn the weapons over to the inspectors.

Meanwhile, a speech is on tap. Congress is debating whether to authorize a military strike, which Obama has sought from the legislative branch. A fast-moving story, though, is accelerating to warp speed and we’ll see tonight just how quickly Barack Obama can think on his feet.


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