Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Preparing the way

Listening to Rachel Maddow this morning, I found she was paying closer attention than some and has identified the Miers nomination get out clause in a press briefing given by President Bush yesterday. The underbelly is the section of her show where she closely examines rightwing politics and extracts the hidden messages.

Q Mr. President, as a newspaper reported on Saturday, is the White House working on a contingency plan for the withdrawal of Harriet Miers' nomination?

THE PRESIDENT: Harriet Miers is -- is an extraordinary
woman. She was a legal pioneer in Texas. She was ranked one of the top 50 women lawyers in the United States on a consistent basis. She is -- look, I understand that people want to know more about her, and that's the way the process should

Recently, requests, however,
<> have been made by Democrats and Republicans about paperwork and -- out of this White House that would make it impossible for me and other Presidents to be able to make sound decisions. They
may ask for paperwork about the decision-making process, what her recommendations were, and that would breach very important confidentiality. And it's a red line I'm not willing to cross. People can learn about Harriet Miers through hearings, but we are not going to destroy this business about people
being able to walk into the Oval Office and say, Mr. President, here's my advice to you, here's what I think is important. And that's not only important for this President, it's important for future Presidents.

Harriet Miers is a fine person, and I expect her to have a good, fair hearing on Capitol Hill.

The point of all this being that Bush was not asked a question about the paperwork issue, he dropped the paperwork issue into his remarks, unprompted. And Rachel is predicting the reason why Harriet Miers's nomination is withdrawn is because of the war on terror and the advice she has given as White House counsel. Other papers did not pick up the way in which Bush is preparing the ground, but nothing passes by Rachel's ears!


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