A US military attack against Syria was unexpectedly put on hold on Saturday, after president Barack Obama said that while he backed the use of force after what he called "the worst chemical weapons attack of 21st century", he would first seek the approval of Congress. Read more >>
The cartoon by Paul Thomas from the Daily Express shows a smiling President Obama in the Oval Office flanked by the American flags. A sign on his desk reads 'The Buck Stops With Congress'. Someone in the White House garden comments, "He got the idea from Cameron".
The cartoonist plays on the phrase "The buck stops here", which was popularized by U.S. President Harry S. Truman, who kept a sign with that phrase on his desk in the Oval Office. The phrase refers to the fact that the President has to make the decisions and accept the ultimate responsibility for those decisions. The expression is said to have originated with the game of poker, in which a marker or counter (frequently in frontier days, a knife with a buckhorn handle), was used to indicate the person whose turn it was to deal. If the player did not wish to deal he could pass the responsibility by passing the "buck," as the counter came to be called, to the next player. Truman received the sign as a gift from a prison warden, who was also an avid poker player. [source: Wikipedia]
Cameron is, of course, David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister who last week lost a House of Commons vote endorsing military action in Syria. The suggestion is that Obama does not want to take responsibility for launching a military strike against the Syrian regime and is therefore 'passing the buck' to Congress.
In a recent interview with CNN's "New Day", President Barack Obama said that when it comes to Washington's lack of action on big issues, "the buck stops with me." Read more >>