The first lady is not alone among strong Obama loyalists hoping for another solution, perhaps via diplomacy, as is being discussed Tuesday with greater interest and intensity. Sen. Edward Markey, the Massachusetts Democrat who won Secretary of State John Kerry’s old seat, said Tuesday he could not back military action in Syria, despite the apparent use of chemical weapons by Mr. Assad’s regime.
Senator Markey, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was the lone “present” vote on the resolution narrowly supporting limited military engagement. He took heat for apparently taking a pass on a tough decision. But Tuesday he described the resolution as “too broad” and suggested he would not back it when the full Senate considers the measure.
“The effects of a strike are too unpredictable,” he said, adding that he wants to “give diplomatic measures that could avoid military action a chance to work.”
Meanwhile, Sen. Ben Cardin (D) of Maryland is rethinking his decision last week to support the president in committee.
"I voted yes in the committee but I have concerns about action, right now we need to deal with #Syria via diplomacy if possible," Mr. Cardin said on Twitter.
Just a few days ago, Minnesota Sen. Al Franken (D) was leaning toward an endorsement of a resolution giving the president the power to act. He, too, expressed his concern Tuesday that the resolution in the Senate pipeline is too sweeping. He said he worries that while Obama isn’t pushing for boots on the ground now, an initial engagement could expand into a broader conflict.