All three networks filed from Capitol Hill on the developing political showdown between Congress and the Commander in Chief over his decision to send US troop reinforcements to Baghdad. A bipartisan group of Foreign Relations Committee senators drafted a non-binding resolution in opposition that the White House pledged to ignore even if passed. NBC's Chip Reid did a head count and found no more than the seven Republicans opposing the policy that he counted last Friday. CBS' Sharyl Attkisson pointed out that the President met privately with "selected GOP members of Congress, presumably to nudge them back in his direction."
The other big domestic dispute over Iraq policy does not concern Congress and President, it is an internal Democratic Party split between its likely leading contenders for the 2008 nomination. NBC's David Gregory outlined the positions being staked out by Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards to create "distance from the war." Rodham Clinton unveiled her "high profile stance" to legislate a maximum US troop level in Iraq on NBC's Today. Obama "used an Internet message" to call the Iraq War "tragic and costly." Edwards "now urges Congress to deny funding for additional troops." ABC's Jake Tapper noted that the non-binding resolution was by no means the only Iraq trial balloon being floated on the Hill: there is also a phased withdrawal, support for partition, military redeployment to elsewhere in the region or a complete withdrawal. "Democrats do not want ownership or blame for the President's war."
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