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Posted at 12:39 PM ET, 03/28/2011

What should Obama say in his speech on Libya?

As rebels gain ground against forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi, President Obama is preparing to explain to the American people how the White House expects U.S. intervention to help resolve the conflict.

Obama will address the nation at 7:30 p.m. EST, and administration officials say he’ll be able to show that U.S. involvement in an international coalition against Gaddafi will loosen the leader’s 41-year grip on Libya.
What should Obama say? (Joshua Roberts - BLOOMBERG NEWS)

Administration officials have been careful to say that U.S. involvement is already yielding positive results. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited CBS News’ “Face the Nation” Sunday, saying Libyan diplomats and military leaders are defecting from the regime after “seeing the handwriting on the wall.”

Obama has said the intervention will help prevent a humanitarian disaster. Some analysts argue, however, that it could be more effective to let Libyans settle the unrestthemselves, possibly toppling Gaddafi’s regime. Critics, for their part, question the perceived absence of an overall U.S. exit strategy.

As political pressure to define the U.S. mission in Libya mounts, how should the president respond? USA Today’s The Oval blog has a roundup of possible talking points:

•The operation is working.

• The operation has international support.

• There will be no U.S. ground troops in Libya.

• The military action prevented a massacre in Libya.

What do you think Obama should say tonight? Tell us using #whatobamashouldsay on Twitter and we'll post some of your replies right here.

@washingtonpost #WhatObamaShouldSay #Libya Obama should say we have handed the mission off permanently and are withdrawing US troops.less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone

RT @calliewallace: #whatobamashouldsay I don't know exactly when or how US will exit #Libya because I -shockingly - can't predict the fu ...less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone

#WhatObamaShouldSay: how is the intervention in Libya different than in Egypt and Tunisia?less than a minute ago via web

By  |  12:39 PM ET, 03/28/2011

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