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Miers Nomination Hangs In the Balance

This morning's Washington Times: "Insiders see hint of Miers pullout." Ralph Z. Hallow and Charles Hurt report the White House is quietly making phone calls gathering advice about an exit strategy. The White House denies making such calls. The last five paragraphs of the article are particularly interesting:

     Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove no longer appears to fill the role as chief political strategist in the White House, a role he has filled from the start of the first Bush term. Mr. Rove's clear leadership hand went missing some time ago, Republican insiders say, when speculation grew that he might face indictment in the CIA leak investigation led by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.
    The eruption of conservative disapproval over the choice of Miss Miers surprised the president and others in the White House but not Mr. Rove, the insiders say. They say he has shown, in most instances, a keen sensitivity to the complex concerns of various interests on the political right that, until the Miers nomination, had been pretty much in lock step with Mr. Bush, even when they privately disagreed with him.
    Republican insiders said the choice of Miss Miers, who has had no judicial experience, over a list of sitting judges with records of having written opinions on constitutional matters and who are conservative in their political views, probably was made by Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr.
    Some White House aides privately acknowledge astonishment at the administration's response.
    "Who would have believed the wheels would be coming off this early in the second term, and with our own people firing at us?" a White House aide confided yesterday.

I have a great deal of respect for Karl Rove, but it doesn't take a particularly high political IQ to recognize that the Miers nomination was a train wreck waiting to happen. There may be "complex concerns of various interests on the political right" on some issues, but this wasn't one of them. If there wasn't a single other person inside the White House with access to the president who could see this, then the Bush administration is in much bigger trouble than anyone can imagine.