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RNC Reassures the Roots

GOP leaders and close allies in the evangelical movement hosted a conference call today aimed at easing conservatives' concerns about the nomination of White House counsel Harriet Miers to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman hosted the call this afternoon and was joined by a cavalcade of movement conservatives, including Chuck Colson, the head of Prison Fellowship ministries, and James Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family.  The speakers sought to reassure an audience of grassroots conservative activists from all 50 states that Miers was indeed the right (literal and ideological) pick.

Mehlman struck a conciliatory tone in the call, pointing out that concerns on the right are understandable.  "So many people in the past have had voting records that are different than have been advertised," he said. But he quickly noted that because President Bush knows the nominee on a personal level "it is hard to imagine a president having a better knowledge of a nominee."

Colson and Dobson largely seconded that opinion, although the latter left himself a bit of wiggle room in his statements.

Dobson declared that Miers will be an "excellent justice" but said he was not "absolutely positive" about that statement.

Since Daily Kos had publicized the call-in information before the conference call even began, I assume the speakers weren't giving away any intimate secrets about their strategy. But the conference call clearly shows that GOP leaders are moving quickly to quell conservative unrest about Miers. 

The question now:  Are GOP activists taking their leaders' advice?

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 6, 2005; 5:18 PM ET
Categories:  Politics and the Court  
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