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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Miers Nomination Withdrawn

Seems like falling on your sword to protect your boss is a habit at the White House these days. Harriet Miers withdrew her name from consideration for the Supreme court this morning, according to the WaPo.

Harriet Miers withdrew her nomination to be a Supreme Court justice Thursday in the face of stiff opposition and mounting criticism about her qualifications.
Bushie released a statement blaming the meanies in Congress for wanting actual information about his nominee. (Looks like the Krauthammer face-saving out idea came just in time.)

...He blamed her withdrawal on calls in the Senate for the release of internal White House documents that the administration has insisted were protected by executive privilege.

"It is clear that senators would not be satisfied until they gained access to internal documents concerning advice provided during her tenure at the White House -- disclosures that would undermine a president's ability to receive candid counsel," Bush said...
Thank goodness for Harriet's commitment to separation of powers issues and...well, and for the Republican leadership in the Senate clearly communicating to the WH that this was going to get more and more embarassing if they kept going. Oh, and that the votes were not there. Wow, thank goodness for that adherence to principles...thingy.

Good day to sink the nomination, what with all the Fitzgerald speculation occupying the media. Except, there weren't any indictments announced yesterday to eat up the spotlight...maybe they know something we don't in terms of what will be announced today?

Tweety was just on MSNBC saying essentially that this is an embarassment mainly for the "B-Team," and that no one knows who is really in charge at the White House right now in terms of the top decisions in the wake of the Traitorgate investigation and all the turmoil that has gone on for months with the Administration -- Katrina, Iraq, Miers, potential indictments, etc.

Okay, now I feel safer.

Ted Olson, Michael McConnell, and the other usual suspects have their names already floating around. Again. The one thing we can be certain of is that this time, some vetting my actually be done. Beyond that, all bets are off.

More as we get it on this.

UPDATE: Miers' letter to the President is up here. The Preznit's full statement is up here.

MSNBC (via Chip Reid) is reporting that a Republican Senator on the Judiciary Committee phoned the President and told him that the nomination had to be withdrawn and that the votes were not there. The call occurred last night, according to the reporting. No word on the particular Senator, but they then flashed up information on Sam Brownback. Hmmmmmm.....

UPDATE #2: Some questions for this morning. Is this the point where Senators push themselves forward to fill the perceived void that Rove may be leaving in his legal distractions? Senators are not used to being told what to do, by the WH or anyone else, and the behind the scenes and public chafing at being given marching orders by Rove has been interesting to watch. Once that bit has been removed from their mouths -- as it seemed to be in all of the Republican opposition to Miers -- it is awfully hard to get them back in the bridle.

But which faction of Senators will win the wrestling match? The more moderate Specter judicial wing, the Christian Conservative Brownback group, or the maverick competence-touting McCain and Hegel crew? It's going to be an interesting tea-leaf reading experience over the next few weeks as the next phase of judicial nominee contemplation occurs.

And does this mean that Rove re-asserts himself as indespensable, using the problems with this nomination to wedge himself back through the crack in the door that had widened through all the Traitorgate mess? Does he stay in place, whether or not he gets indicted, because Bush is now too afraid to make decisions without him again? Or has Rove already overplayed his hand by putting himself out in the press as the "Bush's brain" kind of guy and the Preznit has had enough? This dynamic will be interesting to watch as well.

Finally, Ed Gillespie and a lot of other GOP operatives have been much more visible over the last few days. Has the beauty pageant started already to select the Rove replacement, regardless of what happens with the legal case, because Rove has become so radioactive? Or does this mean that Andy Card should be watching his back?

Interesting stuff to watch over the next few days, boys and girls.