The drip-by-drip pace of Democrat lawmaker's announcements of support for the Iran deal was a carefully orchestrated strategy from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to demonstrate that momentum was moving in the deal’s favor, wrote Washington website Politico Sunday.
“That was her idea,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), who has been whipping Democrats to support the agreement. “I saw as that was rolling out, how effective that was. I think she deserves a lot of credit.”
That drip “turned into a flood this week,” noted the website, and Senate Democrats not only surpassed the 34 votes necessary to uphold a veto of a planned resolution of disapproval against the deal, but appear to be very close to the 41 necessary to successfully filibuster the deal, making a veto unnecessary.
The number of backers of the deal in the House, meanwhile, has passed 100.
The overwhelming Democratic support for the agreement was the result of weeks of tough lobbying. “This was the most extensive effort by the administration on any single piece of legislation since I’ve been in Congress,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who supports the agreement, told Politico. He came to Capitol Hill in 2001.
“I think they were determined not to take support of the deal for granted and wanted to do everything possible to ensure the president’s veto was sustained,” he added.
President Barack Obama spoke to more than 100 lawmakers in individual or small-group settings, according to a White House official, including 30 phone calls during his two-week August vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.
Cabinet secretaries and senior administration officials spoke directly to over 200 House members and senators after the deal was reached.
Counteracting tens of millions of dollars’ worth of TV ads from opponents of the agreement such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) were millions spent by organizations such as J Street.