Petraeus' Impact

As far as public opinion about the fundamental course of the war, it was zero, according to Gallup. And he may have reminded people of the catastrophe he inherited:

The number of Americans who say it was a mistake to send troops to Iraq ticked up to 58 percent from 54 percent in the USA TODAY Poll a week earlier.

Polarization is still gob-smackingly high:

Neither Bush nor congressional Democrats get high marks as someone who can be trusted to recommend the right thing on Iraq. Congressional Democrats are trusted by 35 percent, Bush by 27 percent. More than one in four trust neither.

The partisan divide on that question is extraordinarily sharp: Just 4% of Democrats trust Bush to recommend the right thing; just 9% of Republicans trust congressional Democrats to do so. Only one in 10 Americans trust both.