The Wall Street Journal:
After a 45-minute walk Friday night, President Barack Obama made a fateful decision that none of his top national security advisers saw coming: To seek congressional authorization before taking military action in Syria.
The stunning about-face after a week of U.S. saber rattling risked not only igniting a protracted congressional fight, which could end with a vote against strikes, but a backlash from allies in the Middle East who had warned the White House that inaction would embolden not only Syrian President Bashar al-Assad but his closest allies, Iran and Hezbollah.
Aides said the decision was made by Mr. Obama and Mr. Obama alone. It shows the primacy the president places on protecting his hoped-for legacy as a commander in chief who did everything in his power to disentangle the U.S. from overseas wars. Until Friday night, Mr. Obama's national-security team didn't even have an option on the table to seek a congressional authorization.
Personally I don't think the President had muhc of a choice but to involve Congress, not considering many of his statements concerning the build up to go into Iraq.
In many ways this was a brilliant way to get the Congress to put up or shut up. Considering the fact that many of the Republicans are up for reelection, with the possibility of Teabaggers challenging them in primary, the President has just put them between the proverbial rock and a hard place.
However I think that this illustrates how carefully the President considers his options before making a choice. And it also illustrates just how alone he must feel when it comes time to make those choices.