Presidential Speech Liveblog

POTUS gets down to it with few preliminaries….unsurprisingly, he’s comparing the IS challenge to the al Qaeda challenge rather than to the Iraq War.

Very interesting that Obama calls IS (or as he prefers to call it, ISIL) “one of” the emerging threats, and mentions North Africa along with the Middle East as the source of those threats.

He’s reassuring viewers that threat to homeland–which polls show Americans are worried about to a surprising degree–is limited.

Goal announced: “degrade and destroy” ISIL. Coalition treated as fait accompli, but Kerry charged with “rallying other nations.” Action in Syria made contingent on “threats to America.”

“We will not be dragged into another land war in Iraq.”

Obama to speak to UN Security Council in two weeks.

Preventing genocide treated as additional rationale for action.

Obama asks for congressional support, but not authorization.

Second set of assertions that action will not resemble wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Implicitly, we will use air power (including drones) and special forces, but rely on coalition for combat troops.

A little American Exceptionalism coda, which also enables brief references to domestic challenges, and even Ebola.

Tonight’s Real People are Yazidis thanking U.S. for saving them.

After fifteen minutes, a brisk wrap.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.