All three broadcasts led with Iraq hearings on Capitol Hill
ABC: News of Petraeus reporting “significant but fragile progress,” mention that presidential hopefuls seemed to be debating each other as much as asking questions. Quoted Obama calling war decision a “blunder,” McCain warning of “political and moral failure” of abandoning Iraq, Clinton expressing concerns. Stephanopoulos called hearings an “exercise in kicking the can down the road.”
CBS: Led with “sober assessment” from a “rock-star general.” Unlike ABC, report said candidates left politics at the hearing-room door. Mention of Quinnipiac Pennsylvania poll.
NBC: Led with Iraq hearings, noting Petraeus said there’s been “significant but uneven” progress that could “still turn on a dime.” Package covered candidates’ questions to Petraeus and Crocker, pointing out McCain mixed up Shi’ia and Sunni again, Clinton said it would be “irresponsible” to continue same policy, Obama “tried to establish his foreign policy credentials” and promised to be out within 16 months. Said war critics never got a clear answer on how “success” in Iraq would be defined.