U.S. backers of the Iran nuclear deal are increasingly confident of enough Democratic support to ensure it survives review by Congress, despite fierce opposition by majority Republicans and a massive lobbying drive. By the time the House of Representatives recessed for the summer last week, no senior Democrat in the chamber had come out formally against the agreement and several central figures, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, were strongly in favor.
It was a side of President Barack Obama many of the 20 House Democrats who gathered in the White House’s Blue Room Wednesday night hadn’t seen before: engaged, direct, even a little bit personal. Obama dived into his pitch on the Iran nuclear deal, demonstrating his command of the nuances as lawmakers peppered him with questions. But the president who has infamously shied away from hardball politics when it comes to selling his policies also made abundantly clear he’s making an exception to secure what would be the biggest foreign policy triumph of his two terms.