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Obama Defends Libya Mission to ABC: 'I Do a Lot of Praying


"Every night, right before I go to bed."

What's getting President Obama through these stressful, and trying, times? His prayer life.

In a new interview with Diane Sawyer, the president not only defends his actions in Libya, but he also takes time to reassure the country about his faith (something we've noted is on the rise lately), saying that it is a large part of his decision-making process (via Mediaite):

I do a lot of praying. Absolutely. Every night, right before I go to bed. You know, and I am praying that – I’m making the best possible decisions, and that I’ve got the strength to serve the American people well. And frankly as President of the United States, you know, your responsibilities extend beyond beyond our borders. And these decisions are difficult.

He also took time to defend his Libyan intervention:

I think that it is precisely because we organized an international coalition, we don’t have to shoulder this entire burden. I mean, the fact of the matter is it’s not going to be U.S. planes that are maintaining the no-fly zone. It is a NATO operation . . . what I didn’t want was a situation in which everybody else was a free rider on our U.S. military. I wanted to make sure you guys say this is important to you, make sure that you are actually putting some skin in the game.

That is only partially true. As the AP pointed out yesterday, NATO is a US-led organization, so NATO taking over is an indirect way for the U.S. to remain in control.

You can watch the entire interview below. The NATO part comes at about 8:00, while the prayer comments come at 11:30:

As a side note, the ABC story about the above interview quotes social-justice champion Jim Wallis about the president's faith:

"Barack Obama is a Christian. He's always been clear and unapologetic about that, and he's comfortable with his own faith," said Rev. Jim Wallis, an Obama friend and spiritual adviser. "But I think the president, particularly a president, needs the kind of pastoral care or spiritual counsel with people who don't have a political agenda. And it's hard for a president to get that."

By the way, to hear what Obama really thinks of the Libyan mission, check out our other story.

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