Will President Obama -- during tonight's address to the nation on Syria -- thank the Russians for saving him from an embarrassing Congressional rebuke?
According to a pre-speech Congressional headcount by ABC News' political unit, there is little backing in either chamber for an attack on Syria. ABC News found that only 25 Senators support or are likely to support military action in Syria.
That number compares to 30 either opposed or likely to against. A solid 45 of them are "undecided." That number is a tad misleading.
The president's people urged members of the controlling Democratic caucus to hold off making their opposition public until after the speech. Obama didn’t want to build momentum against the strike.
The House, which is controlled by Republicans, is lost to the president. According to ABC, even House Democrats, who are weary of never-ending wars, have parted with the President.
Only a scant number of Congressmen, 44, support or are likely to support him. A whopping 243 Representatives are bucking the President, while 133 remain undecided. Syria opinions of 13 Congressmen are unknown to ABC.
Syria is not off the hook, by far. Its foreign minister said the country has accepted Russia's proposal to secure its chemical weapons stockpile and put them under international control. Obama will wait and see how that turns out.
Syria caved to "stave off American aggression," according to FM Walid al-Muallem. That’s a sign that Syria took Obama’s threat seriously. It’s now up to Russia to forge a credible weapons overseer that is up to U.S. standards.
Speaking of snubs, perhaps Obama’s very public irritation with Russian leader Putin over Edward Snowden and Syria during the G-20 meeting in St. Petersburg paid dividends. Allowing a graceful exit for Obama on the Syrian showdown is a good way for Putin to improve relations with the U.S.
It's fitting that America's Syria mess began with an unfortunate year ago remark by Obama about "red lines" and may end with an off-the-cuff proposal by Secretary of State John Kerry about Syrian leader Assad getting rid of his chemical weapons, which Kerry then said was something that wasn’t going to happen.