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Of the countless backdrops for President Obama's consequential speech on confronting ISIS, a few clearly stood out: The looming anniversary of September 11th. The aftermath of the executions of James Foley and Steven Sotloff. The (allegedly) war-weary American public.

As we noted yesterday, one elucidating poll linked them all. In it, 47 percent of Americans said they felt the country was less safe now than it had been prior to the September 11th attacks (a post-9/11 high). Meanwhile, approval ratings for the president's handling of foreign policy were at 32 percent, the point of freezing, even as a majority expressed support for action against ISIS. To boot, a whopping 94 percent of Americans had heard of the beheadings of Foley and Sotloff, among the highest levels of public consciousness for a news story in years.

And so, the fractured, frightened, and skeptical country tuned in on Wednesday night as President Obama outlined his strategy to defeat ISIS. Accordingly, the reactions ran the gamut:

Here are some of the more noteworthy reactions:

The porridge was too cold:

Speaking with Peter Baker of the Times, Barry Pavel, a former Obama official, outlined why the strategy isn't enough:

I’m not sure half-steps into Syria are ultimately going to achieve the president’s goals. It’s a fine strategy for contain and disrupt. It’s not a strategy for defeat by any means. If you want to defeat ISIS, you have to go all-in to Syria, which the president isn’t prepared to do.”

The porridge is virtuous:

The porridge is conditionally virtuous:

The porridge is virtuous, allow me to self-aggrandize/self-promote:

The porridge is too vague:

The porridge contradicted the entire legacy the president had previously sought:

The porridge is possibly or even definitely illegal:

Your criticisms of the porridge are faulty:


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