People-to-people diplomacy is a powerful and under-estimated asset. Despite recent focus on the supposed influence of social media, it is not even in the same league as direct interaction between individuals of different nationalities and cultures. The Thanksgiving ritual is a moving American message.
Military operations resulted in an economic recession and deepened local infighting. Saudi Arabia has also lost soldiers in battle and faces increased retaliatory attacks. To avoid further bloodshed, it would be wise for Saudi Arabia to consider using diplomacy rather than facing the Houthis head-on.
Given the ultimate power of a president -- especially one finishing up his second term in office and hardly beholden to a Republican Congress -- to say "no," Obama's explanation for the dismal failure of part of this country's war policy is, in its admission of weakness, possibly unique in the annals of the modern White House.