WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Wolf, we now have the answer from two polls that were just released.
SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Two high-profile media events about Iraq last week. The top U.S. commander testified before Congress. The president delivered a prime time speech.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In Iraq, an ally of United States is fighting for its survival.
SCHNEIDER: What impact did they have? Very little according to two polls taken at the end of the week. Before the Petraeus testimony and the president's speech, 26 percent of Americans polled by CBS News approved of the president's handling of Iraq; after the speech, 25. Before the testimony and the speech, 41 percent of Americans believed the United States did the right thing to take military action in Iraq. After the speech, 39 percent said it was the right thing. President Bush spoke about a return on success, drawing on General Petraeus assessment.
PRES. BUSH: His belief we're succeeding, his belief we will succeed, and I ask the United States Congress to support the troop levels and the strategies I have embraced.
SCHNEIDER: Democrats were skeptical. SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have now set the bar so low that modest improvement in what was a completely chaotic situation to the point where now we just have the levels of intolerable violence that existed in June of 2006 is considered success. And it's not.
SCHNEIDER: Does the public believe the U.S. troop buildup is making this situation in Iraq better? Before last week, 35 percent of Americans said yes in the CBS News poll. At the end of the week, 31 percent said yes. The Pew poll found that most Americans want the U.S. to bring its troops home as soon as possible, same as in July.
SCHNEIDER: President Bush's overall job approval hardly changed. Thirty percent before the speech in the CBS poll, 29 after. But the president's rating did jump 15 points among Republicans. Bottom line, nothing much changed. The public still wants out of Iraq, but the president's Republican base remains loyal. Wolf?
BLITZER: Bill Schneider reporting for us. Thanks, Bill, very much.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Bill Schneider provides a bit:
by Atrios at 20:25