COMMENTS: PRIMETIME ADDRESS FALLOUT
The post-game coverage of President George Bush's primetime TV address on his new policy on Iraq (31 minutes) was almost as heavy as yesterday's pre-game (35 minutes). Both ABC and CBS conducted overnight opinion polls on popular support--or lack of it--for troop reinforcements. NBC led with the White House's efforts to promote the policy. ABC and CBS both led from Capitol Hill, where Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice faced a skeptical Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Rice dodged the vocabulary quiz about whether the troop increase was a "surge" or an "escalation." She called it an "augmentation."
The tone of the hearings was "withering," according to ABC's Jake Tapper; NBC's Chip Reid heard "anger--especially among Democrats." Reid counted five senators on the committee with Presidential ambitions in 2008: Christopher Dodd, Joseph Biden, Chuck Hagel, Barack Obama, John Kerry. "All five vigorously oppose the plan. All five took their best shots at the Secretary of State."
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