Robert Schmuhl: Obama bid for congress support on Syria is a plea for principle over politics
By requesting Congressional approval to launch military action against Syria for using chemical weapons, Barack Obama will be forced to wage a potentially wounding political battle in Washington before he delivers any order to strike abroad.
For the president, it's a high-stakes domestic gamble with large-scale international implications.
Ever since Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in 2011, Mr Obama has dealt with Congress at arm's length. In a hyperpartisan environment, the White House, whenever possible, manoeuvres around the House and the Senate to reach many of its objectives.