Thursday, October 27, 2005

Verbum Sapienti

From the London Times (, today:

Analysis: Bush's darkest political hour

Gerard Baker, US Editor of The Times, says that President Bush has been embarrassed by Harriet Miers withdrawing her US Supreme Court nomination

“In the end her withdrawal was inevitable.
"The opposition to her nomination was becoming so strong among Republicans, it was really a question of how it was going to end, not if.
"Were they [the Bush administration] going to push it all the way to a hearing and a vote, which they increasingly looked likely to lose? A large proportion of Republicans were not willing to support her.
"A face-saving measure? - This looks like what they have done.
"It is a clever way of getting out of the situation – it saves a little face.
"She had been criticised for her cronyism – she had worked in the White House. But she was under-qualified for the Supreme Court - a middling corporate lawyer, with no experience on the bench, who has never offered much in the way of opinions.
"Obviously, she had got to where she was because of her proximity to the president. She was very close to him.
"It is a personal and political embarrassment for Bush.
"It is one of the darkest moments for the president in political terms within his own party. He has steadily been losing support with the nation, but despite Iraq and other problems, he has maintained support among Republicans. But that had changed with Miers.
"But this withdrawal does give him the chance for rebuilding, for putting forward a different nomination who is not so evidently awful as the last one.
"The White House still has to deal with the scandal surrounding Karl Rove, Mr Bush's chief adviser, and Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff.
"They are at the centre of a scandal which saw the naming of CIA agent Valerie Plame. Possible indictments of the White House aides could be presented within the next 24 hours.
"Mr Bush’s problems are by no means over."


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