Determined foes of President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran had vowed to use August to mobilize public opinion with a tea party-like fervor, and to build a bipartisan majority in Congress to sink the landmark pact in a mid-September showdown.Instead, the White House locked down a 34th senator in support Wednesday, enough to stop Congress from overriding a presidential veto and to ensure implementation of the historic international accord.The pledge of support by Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland assured a political victory for Obama, and a surprising loss for the Republican majority in Congress, which uniformly opposes the deal.It also pushed Obama’s allies in the Senate to go for broke and try to get seven of the final 10 wavering Democrats on their side when Congress returns from summer break next week.If they succeed, Democrats could block a GOP-backed resolution of disapproval with a filibuster and the president wouldn’t even need to use his veto to protect a deal that his aides view as his signature foreign policy achievement.How did a White House that has rocky relations even with Democrats on Capitol Hill pull it off?Unlike the outpouring of public anger that gave rise to the tea party and nearly doomed Obamacare in August 2010, the Iran deal “just hasn’t had that kind of galvanizing effect” on the public, said Rep. David Price (D-N.C.), who backs the deal.That summer, furious voters confronted lawmakers at local town hall meetings, pushing many onto the defensive. Bolstered by multimillion-dollar advertising buys that targeted some individual Democrats in their home districts, opponents of the Iran deal had promised similar confrontations in August. But they never materialized.One Republican on Capitol Hill had a terse explanation: “Trump happened.”The GOP leadership aide, granted anonymity to discuss the situation, said celebrity billionaire Donald Trump’s rogue presidential campaign, along with scrutiny of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s email server, took over the nation’s attention, driving other issues to the margins.Polls suggest most Americans feel more ambivalent than impassioned about the complex deal and are heedful of White House warnings that a congressional rejection of the pact could lead to war.Moreover, an invitation by GOP leaders to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address both houses of Congress in March appears to have …Read More