No wonder they hate Karl Rove
Today may have been the final masterstroke, the last, best misdirection play of his career. Judge Edith Clement was floated by "surrogates" of the administration this afternoon and everyone was aflutter. Drudge had the flashlight going. Breaking News everywhere. The liberals were pleasantly surprised. The media was thrilled. Bush listened to Laura, they said. A passable conservative woman in the mold of Sandra Day O'Connor. She sounded so good. Heck, even rumored candidate, Sen. John Cornyn, had an embargoed press release prasing the presidents pick, Edith Clement. It was a perfectly executed misdirection.
After the breathless afternoon coverage, and the anticipation for the evening press conference, it was as if the liberals were kicked in the stomach one last time by Rove.
Bush consulted with 30 Democrat Senators and he still didn't choose one of their pre-approved nominees! He's a divider not a uniter, I can hear it now. He went ahead and did what he has said he would since 1999. They simply can't believe it.
The question should be, Why would you ever doubt Bush with this pick?
Still, that's what many did, from both sides of the aisle. Once again, Bush was misunderestimated. It is always best when expectations are low and you surprise to the upside. John Roberts is 50 years old. He is a well regarded, mainstream conservative, Supreme Court veteran, who should be approved by any reasonable standard. If Ruth Bader Ginsberg can get 95+ votes, this should be an acceptable pick.
Liberal advocacy groups have their fax machines and emails cooking and that's fine. Conservatves would do the same thing.
The trouble for Democrat politicians is that they will have to oppose him vigorously enough to satisfy their money interests without going too far and hurting themselves with independents and what's left of conversative Democrats.
Can this line-up pull that off..Leahey, Schumer, Kennedy, Reid, Boxer, Durbin.
I've seen no evidence at all that they can. Good luck to them. They are a net positive for conservatives anyway.
Notes culled from the background noise...
Good exchange on Fox,
Fred Barnes, "This was the safe pick."
Bill Kristol replies, "I disagree, this was a bold pick. The safe pick would have been a woman first and a minority second."
Barnes later tried to explain his statement and came up empty, grasping at straws. Advantage Kristol. The boss wins again.
Keep talking Pat Leahey, keep talking.
Ken Starr gets lots of face time on TV as he was Solicitor General while Roberts was his First Deputy. Love it.
Hannity introduces former Senator John Breaux. Breaux congratulates Bush for "confusing everybody" and joking that he was originally "invited on the show to talk about Edith Clement". The Democrats miss Breaux. He is a grown up.
Ed Meese is still sharp as a tack. He's whipping Alan Colmes right now.
Susan Estrich, "This guy is the real thing." It was not a compliment.
Greta Van Sustern to Estrich, "Will Rehnquist retire or go out with his boots on?"