Hours after President Barack Obama addressed the nation Tuesday night on Syria, U.S. Rep.Alan Grayson sent a note of congratulations to his supporters with the subject line: “How We Stopped A War — For Now.”
What followed was the email equivalent of a halftime speech, with the Orlando Democrat praising efforts by anti-war activists in helping stall administration plans to bomb Syria, while at the same time urging them to keep fighting.
“How did this miracle happen?” asked Grayson in the email. “To answer that question, look in the mirror. You did this. Your calls and e-mails. Your pressure.”
The tone of the email — which capped Grayson’s intense efforts during the past two weeks to block military action in Syria — may mark a coming of age for the congressman. It’s certainly a change from a roller-coaster first term that saw Grayson grab headlines but ultimately lose a 2010 re-election bid in part because he repeatedly insulted opponents as “right-wing lunatics.”
“It will take more than this one issue, but Syria might possibly assist Grayson in an image makeover,” said Larry Sabato, a noted political scientist at the University of Virginia. “In his first nonconsecutive term, he was roundly condemned for harsh, polarizing statements that hurt him and his party. Maybe the defeat made him rethink his approach.”