While the administration indicated that it will look into Syria's offer, the president doesn't want to get burned. So he continued to press his case for a military strike. And if Syria's offer proves empty, the president won't have lost any time waiting on the sidelines.
Obama told the nation from the start: "I want to talk to you about Syria -- why it matters and where we go from here."
Riedel said the speech put the president in a difficult situation. "He was trying to convince people of a war they don't want, but he's also saying wait," Riedel noted.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a co-host of CNN's "Crossfire," said Obama was misguided in going on national television with the situation so fluid and having told Congress to hold off on considering a force resolution to give diplomacy a chance.
Rep. Valadao said the president's speech did nothing to convince him to support a possible military strike. He said that after attending every possible briefing and listening to the speech, "It's locked me more into a solid 'no' than anything."