- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 10, 2013

If President Obama can’t sell a skeptical America on using military force in Syria, it’s his own fault, a new poll from CNN/ORC released Tuesday suggested.

“Our concern is the messenger himself,” said CNN polling director Keating Holland. “The public’s split right down the middle on whether Obama is a strong leader, whether he is honest and trustworthy, and whether he inspires confidence.”

The survey results come just hours before the president is due to make his case for Syrian intervention via a nationally televised broadcast on Tuesday evening. And just in the nick of time, it would seem. The poll found only 1 in 5 truly understand Mr. Obama’s policy on Syria, CNN reported.

A little more than half said they “somewhat” understood the White House’s strategy over Syria. Three in 10, however, say they’re either not very clear or outright confused.

CNN said the poll also found that some of America’s reluctance to latch on to Mr. Obama’s push for military strikes in Syria is due to national war weariness. Six in 10 say the Iraq war was waged in error, and half of respondents say the same about Afghanistan.

** FILE ** President Obama speaks in St. Petersburg on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
** FILE ** President Obama speaks in St. Petersburg on Friday, Sept. ... more >

Fully three-quarters of respondents say the United States has no business being the world’s police force, CNN reported.

The poll was conducted by ORC International between Sept. 6 and 8. It surveyed 1,022 Americans by phone, and had a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The actual poll questions and answers could not be found on the Internet for public viewing.