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Miers Withdraws

The Krauthammer strategy reaches a successful conclusion:

Bush said he reluctantly accepted her decision to withdraw, after weeks of insisting that he did not want her to step down. He blamed her withdrawal on calls in the Senate for the release of internal White House documents that the administration has insisted were protected by executive privilege.

"It is clear that senators would not be satisfied until they gained access to internal documents concerning advice provided during her tenure at the White House — disclosures that would undermine a president's ability to receive candid counsel," Bush said. "Harriet Miers' decision demonstrates her deep respect for this essential aspect of the constitutional separation of powers — and confirms my deep respect and admiration for her."

One interpretation of the Miers withdrawal is that the President realized (or was informed by GOP Senators) that she didn't have a chance of being confirmed. A more speculative interpretation of the timing of the withdrawal is that the President knows there are indictments coming down tomorrow and needs to have his base support consolidated.  He can use news of a new appointment to deflect attention from any possible bad news from the Fitzgerald investigation.

Indictments or not, expect Bush to nominate someone who will immediately set off a firestorm from liberal special interest groups and provoke a major battle on the hill that will get his administration off the defensive.