Gay love, vibrating pants, Columbian connection -- you could be forgiven for thinking the US political press were at a loss for news this week.

But with any positioning for the big seat in the White House comes the inevitable questions on Iraq, which provides one of the few real tests of the differences between the candidates, especially the Democrats. With General David Petraeus delivering another uncomfortable assessment of the situation on the ground, all three presidential hopefuls this week had a chance to prove their foreign policy smarts ... while stories of gay love, vibrating pants and Columbian connections swirled around in the foreground.