strategists at that point felt the game was over because of inability
to fight congressional demands for documents that the White House
would not release. This was compounded when her visits to Republican
senators went so badly that further sessions had to be suspended.
Support among senators for Bush's nomination in place of Miers
is concentrated on two conservative women: Federal Circuit Judge
Karen Williams of Orangeburg, S.C., and Michigan Supreme Court
Justice Maura Corrigan.
Another Harriet Miers
of Congress are upset that the Export-Import Bank has been without
a chairman for three months because President Bush's choice is
another friend who is being investigated by the Justice Department.
Philip Merrill's three-year term ended Jan. 20, but was extended
for another six months to July 20. It is widely known that the
president's choice to succeed him is April Foley, a friend of
Bush from his Harvard Business School days. A former Ex-Im Bank
director, she is listed as a housewife on 2002 political contribution
forms. Foley's nomination has been delayed by extended scrutiny
of her financial disclosure forms.
Crapo of Idaho, chairman of the Banking Committee's subcommittee
on financial institutions and a strong Ex-Im booster, has made
it clear that the bank needs a permanent chairman, even if that
means the president has to set aside his first choice.
Hutchison in '08
Bailey Hutchison has approached Republican fund-raisers in her
home state of Texas to test the waters for a possible 2008 presidential
nomination, but party sources believe she is mainly interested
in a vice presidential nomination.
describe Hutchison as saying that if Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton
is the Democratic nominee, the Republicans must consider putting
a woman on their ticket. Hutchison, who has held statewide elective
office for 15 years, would head the list for the GOP.
ambitions may have factored into Hutchison's decision against
challenging Gov. Rick Perry in a bloody Republican primary for
governor next year. Hutchison chose instead to seek re-election
to the Senate.
Liddy Gets One
Dole, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee,
has scored a recruiting triumph after several failures by getting
a top-drawer candidate to challenge Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow
County Sheriff Michael Bouchard, who announced in February he
would not run because of his health, has changed his mind and
probably will announce his candidacy. Bouchard is a popular figure
in a Detroit suburban county carried by Sen. John Kerry for president
last year. But in the fund-raising contest he is far behind Stabenow,
who had $4.7 million in the bank as of Sept. 30.
been criticized inside party ranks for failing to sign up strong
Republican challengers against Democratic candidates in several
states with vulnerable Democratic incumbents, including Michigan.
Bouchard is the strongest possible GOP candidate next to Rep.
Candice Miller, who said no.
Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), supporting maverick Sen.
Lincoln Chafee for a second term from Rhode Island, is waging
an attack campaign against his challenger, Cranston Mayor Stephen
Laffey, 11 months in advance of the primary election.
advertising buy accuses Laffey of profiting from oil stocks while
he complains about oil companies in his campaign. Chafee, who
has lagged badly in fund-raising, has not tried to stop the anti-Laffey
attack ads, drawing criticism from the Rhode Island news media.
Laffey's fund-raising mailer misspells his name as "Laffe"
and inexplicably directs donors to "CainforUSSenate.org"
-- the defunct website of 2004 Georgia Republican Senate candidate