President Obama was determined to broker a non-proliferation nuclear deal with Iran. Despite the many observations by his political opposition that the Presidents driving force was and still is his legacy, I don’t believe that was his primary motivation. I believe he really wants to be the author of this break through deal because it reflects his basic political beliefs and objectives. Now it will be his legacy whether he intended it or not and I bet he will succeed in getting the agreement through congress.
However if the congress votes against the agreement and is able to overcome a presidential veto he will still be known as the man who against all odds in his own country reached an agreement that would in theory prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. This might be better for his legacy than actually having the agreement. It is easier to talk about what might have been than to talk about what actually happens.
This is especially true when you consider what will happen if the deal goes into effect given the attendant “work” that verification and confirmation requires with the less than trustworthy Iranian leadership.
Should the deal prove to have major holes in it and does allow Iran to go ahead with it’s terrorist objectives including creating nuclear weapons it will require a lot of explaining by Obama supporters. In all likelihood President Obama will justify in the press any glitches that might occur during the remainder of his term of office but then what will happen?
When a new President is elected, whether it is a democrat or republican Obama’s actions will face a new level of scrutiny. It might go on for many years eroding history’s view of the judgment of Obama in brokering the nuclear deal with Iran.
Whether it goes either way, rejection of the agreement by the congress and Obama speculating on “what might have been” or activated with all the scrutiny that goes with the day-to-day implementation it will be his legacy. It might be, probably will be a painful examination year after year by the press and political opponents if the deals stays in place.
There will be a great deal of finger pointing at Obama if Iran follows its history of deception and misrepresentation and I’m convinced they will follow that pattern.