By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – Did you watch or listen to the president’s speech Tuesday night?

If you missed it, catch it online when you have a chance, it was pretty interesting.

For starters, it was compelling. As eloquent as the president can be, he can also seem aloof and mechanical, like he’s going through the motions.

But not last night. I thought he was as impassioned as he gets, even audibly tapping the podium with his hands in what, for him, amounts to table-pounding.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

There was tough talk to critics of his insistence on severely-limited intervention. “The US military,” he explained, “doesn’t do pinpricks.”

And the president’s speech was full of grand statements, about how the US “has been the anchor of global security” for the past 70 years, how “our ideals and principles as well as national security are at stake in Syria,” and finally, ominously, that “sometimes resolutions and statements of condemnation are not enough.”

There might be some truth in all of that, but the tough talk struggled to overcome contradictions.

The president vowed to pursue Assad’s fishy promise to give up his chemical weapons, meanwhile postponing a congressional vote on giving him the OK to act, even as he insisted that “if we fail to act the Assad regime will see no need to give up chemical weapons.”

The president insisted Assad’s arsenal poses a real threat to us, then said “the regime doesn’t have the ability to threaten our military.”

He answered skeptics of the presence of Al-Qaeda among the rebels by claiming – incredibly – that other Syrians grateful for our military intervention would help keep Al-Qaeda out.

It was a good speech.

But if you opposed a strike before it, did you hear anything to change your mind?

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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