ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: President Obama’s new Afghanistan strategy has divided his allies in Congress. Even beyond those offering outright opposition, some of the president’s closest friends — like Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. — are staying non-committal. He’s getting some support from strange corners, with Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., for example, applauding the president’s actions. Jeff Zeleny, a White House reporter for The New York Times, told us on ABCNews.com’s “Top Line” today that White House officials were hoping for a better reception out of last night’s speech.
“The White House is not too pleased with the reaction this morning, but not surprised,” said Zeleny, who previously covered Obama as a senator, as a reporter for the Chicago Tribune. “There were a lot of sharp statements yesterday. MoveOn was urging people to call the White House. It was hard to tell who was in office yesterday.” Durbin, Zeleny said, is most likely only staying non-committal for now to help the White House politically: “This is a senator who does not believe that the war should be escalated. He, I would assume, will ultimately come out against this, but he wanted to give the president a little bit of time in this respect. And I think the White House was hoping others would as well, but that didn’t happen.” Watch the full discussion with Jeff Zeleny HERE. And check out his blogging at The New York Times’ Caucus blog. I had more on the fallout on today’s World News Webcast, with David Muir, today. Watch that video HERE.