Reading Steven Mufson’s piece in WaPo about the president’s speech at American University today on the Iranian Nuclear Deal, you get the sense the White House is optimistic about overcoming opposition in Congress. Otherwise, would Obama be courting comparisons to JFK’s famous speech on the Test Ban Treaty 52 years ago at the same place, American University?

“What’s appropriate about that comparison is President Kennedy, more than 50 years ago, entered into a diplomatic agreement with an adversary of the United States that did succeed in advancing the national security interests of the United States,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday.

According to Greg Sargent’s calculations, after the announcements from Barbara Boxer, Tim Kaine, and Bill Nelson that they would support the deal, opponents will have to win over 13 of the 14 remaining undecided Democratic senators. That’s a very tall order, and it will get taller if Obama gives a memorable speech today.

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.