Public Disgust Seen Mounting Over Hyperbolic Iraq Rhetoric

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Why all the sudden talk from Democrats and Republicans about finding "common ground" on the Iraq war after President Bush's veto of the Iraq spending bill this week? It may have something to do with public disgust over partisan sniping on the issue.

A clue came from a new batch of focus groups, described to U.S. News, which show the public was turned off by some of the overheated rhetoric that has surrounded the Iraq issue in recent weeks.

The sessions were conducted for the Democrats among swing voters in Colorado and Virginia. As Democratic insiders tell it, the GOP made a mistake by accusing Democrats of wanting to "cut and run"--but the message was for everyone to lower the decibel level. "The language and rhetoric were not working," says a key Democrat. "People want Bush to work with Congress, to move back and forth" and not stake out inflexible positions.

--Kenneth T. Walsh