In a statement at the White House, Obama said he will "consult with Congress" and keep the American people informed about his decision. But he said he would not be making a decision "overnight" and need Iraqi leaders to make assurances that they would make changes necessary to deal with their political problems.
"We are not going to be able to do it for them," Obama said.
He also said he wants to make sure U.S. military action would have "an effect."
While Obama said he would consult with Congress, he did not elaborate on whether Obama would actually ask Congress' blessing with a vote. As we first reported yesterday, Obama already has that authority because the broad 2002 authorization to use force in Iraq remains in effect.
Asked about oil disruptions as prices have risen in reaction to the unrest, Obama said that he hasn't seen major disruptions yet but if they occur he hopes other Persian Gulf countries can fill the gap.