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2008 GOPers on Miers

Following Harriet Miers's decision to withdraw her name from consideration for the Supreme Court opening, The Fix received dozens of statements from various politicians.

Most aren't worth mentioning. But given the animosity that had built toward Miers among conservative Republicans, it is worthwhile to see how the GOP senators who are considering a 2008 presidential race handled the news.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (Tenn.) did not seem particularly perturbed by Miers's decision, choosing instead to focus on the future. "I respect her decision and appreciate her service to our country," said Frist. "I look forward with anticipation to the President naming the next nominee quickly." No crying over spilt milk for Frist

Sen. George Allen (Va.) was similarly terse about Miers ("I wish her well as she continues to honorably serve our country in the White House") but effusive in his thoughts about the next nominee. Allen called on President Bush to "now nominate a person with a demonstrable, clear, consistent and appropriate judicial philosophy." Allen threw one more piece of red meat to conservatives in his statement, arguing that Miers's withdrawal creates an opportunity "for those of us who want to see a Supreme Court that will adhere to the Constitution and will not attempt to legislate from the bench."

Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) appeared on television to talk about Miers, telling CNBC's "Squawk Box" that he believed the former nominee "would have done just fine" at confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Asked whether Bush's next pick could trigger a potential filibuster fight on the Senate floor, McCain said he "hope[d] not." McCain was the ringleader of a bipartisan group of 14 senators that headed off a showdown over the filibustering of judicial nominees earlier this year, a move that drew derision from the conservative wing of the party.

McCain's reform-minded pal -- Sen. Chuck Hagel (Neb.) -- didn't say whether he believes conservative special interest groups had too much of a say in the Miers withdrawal.  But in a conference call with reporters today, Hagel noted that not a single senator had come out against the nominee. He added the obvious -- that today was "a tough day for the president."

Sen. Sam Brownback (Kan.), who has been Miers's leading critic among Republican senators, said her decision not to stand was the "right move." Brownback went on to call for "a discussion with America" about the Supreme Court;  "I am hopeful the president puts forward a well-qualified, conservative jurist with a clear legal philosophy, just like he talked about during the campaign," the Kansan added.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 27, 2005; 4:45 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Next: The Friday Line: Governors' Races to Watch


I am a former elected Republican municipal official In Rhode Island.A week ago today I sent a note to Harriet Miers after her announced withdrawal.I also included a newspaper insert from my last campaign so she knew who sent her the note.She clearly is a person who has done some great things in her life.A number of United States Supreme Court Justices have surprised others while attaining the Supreme Bench in America.
In 2000 and 2004 I was committed to President Bush enough to run in Rhode Island's Second Congressional District as a delegate candidate for him.While taking your base in consideration is important, dealing and leading the entire nation is more important at least to the point of building consensus and understanding.
Scott Bill Hirst
Member,Hopkinton,R.I.,Town Council,1996-2004;.(Only living Republican elected 4 terms to this office in Hopkinton),.

Posted by: Scott Bill Hirst | November 4, 2005 4:53 PM | Report abuse

What sunk Harriet's boat was saying Bush was brilliant. Not even his mom would say that.

Posted by: katie | October 30, 2005 7:57 PM | Report abuse

There is a smell in the air and it smells like Rove is playing us all again. When Miers was nominated it seemed strange, and not just to me. Unqualified in many respects, she none the less was placed out in front, taking space off the front pages about the CIA Leak. I told a friend, half believing it myself, that Rove would engineer a Miers withdrawl just before he is indicted for two reasons: (1) The nomination was to deflect reporters from the Leak investigation in the first place and (2) Since there is no damage done if the nomination is put forwad then withdrawn, Rove would have her withdraw just before the indictments and another name put forth to again take space from the front pages for the Leak investigation.

Though I only half believed it it seems to be playing out as I had imagined. So, assuming my nightmare continues, I predict Bush will name a new nominee by 10am this morning. It will be another controversial name (well, wouldn't they all) but a name meant to take newspaper space. It will probably be a staunch conservative, one the Rep base will not only fight for, but fight for Rove since getting this conservative on the bench will require Rove. In other words, this whole SC nomination farce has and will be to help protect Rove and bring him much needed political support.

I know what you're thinking, another conspiracy theory. As I said I didn't really believe my feelings were real, until it has played out as my wild imagination said it would. We'll see if my predictions come true soon enough.

Here's another prediction:
Rove: Indicted for perjury and possibly conpiracy. The reason I'm sure about perjury is that Rove spins for a living. I can't believe he was totally truthful when questioned by the grand jury.
Libby: Conspiracy and violating the espionage act. I believe the prosecutor believes Libby was the one who coordinated the outing to get back at Wilson. Rove may also be included in the conspiracy but it will likely be other lower level assistants to Libby, and maybe a journalist or two. Miller comes to mind.
Cheney: Named as the source of the information Libby then conspired to use against Wilson. Cheney will not be indicted since he will not be named as part of the conspiracy to out Plame, but he will become a political liability. He won't resign.

Posted by: Sully | October 28, 2005 9:00 AM | Report abuse

The withdrawal of Miers nomination makes clear that GW Bush is no leader. He still lacks the strength of character and the political courage to stand up to his base and do what is best for America.

Robert Chapman
Lansing, New York

Posted by: robert chapman | October 27, 2005 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Some of the 2008 GOPers may want to cast themselves as consensus candidates, as that was the platform on which GM ran in 2000. Brownback is so far adrift to the right, he may want to vote himself out of 2008 GOP primary contention.

Posted by: afrikthink | October 27, 2005 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Horrifying? Maybe, but I don't think so. From Cindy Sheehan through Katrina, DeLay, Frist, and the possible Rove/Libby/(Cheney?) indictments, the GOP are in a heap of trouble. Does the cacaphonous, but small, far right really matter right now?

If Mr. Bush wants to save some face, he'll nominate a moderate to conservative well qualified judge.

Remember, Ohio turned the 2004 election on the swing voters who were brought out in part due to the sanctity of marriage amendment. But that was before 22 Ohio marines lost their lives in Iraq, Katrina exposed a visibly unfeeling administration to the nation, and Paul Hackett (see below) provided an electoral warning.

Mr. Hackett of Ohio, decorated Iraq war vet and possible Senate victor in '06, and Tom Vilsack (MOR Iowa Dem, possible presidential nominee) could become the catalysts to sweep the GOP out of power for awhile - assuming the Dems look to the Midwest for their salvation.

Posted by: wxman1 | October 27, 2005 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Interesting? Expected? Yes to both, but, even worse, horrifying.

Posted by: JRG | October 27, 2005 6:08 PM | Report abuse

interesting? or expected?

Posted by: toadstyle | October 27, 2005 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I find it interesting (and more than a little frightening) that administration policy seems to be following the recommendations of the Krauthammer/Coulter/Limbaugh wing of the Republican party.

Posted by: dahagg | October 27, 2005 4:57 PM | Report abuse

More political blather.

This is getting ponderous...

Posted by: John | October 27, 2005 4:52 PM | Report abuse

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