The Republican leadership's attempt to spin the debate coverage to their own political advantage has been fairly obvious. Based on his own sources, the Politico's Roger Simon has developed a convenient 5-point Republican communications strategy for Hill watchers' reference, summarized below.
1. History Lesson: Take stand against "micro-managing" of war. Remind public of consequences of LBJ picking bombing targets inside northern Vietnam.
2. Constitutional Protection: The Constitution does not allow role for Congress in prosecuting war on day-to-day basis.
3. Legal Protections: It is unprecedented for Congress to revise a use-of-force resolution during a war.
4. Military Matters: Petraeus just assumed command and must be given time to see if the new plan will work.
5. Political Play: Charge that anything the Dems try to do is effectively selling out the troops.
Simon has a more complete description and analysis of his theoretical Republican Iraq-debate talking points over at The Politico.