Brit Hume’s interview of Vice President Cheney broadcast a little while ago was significant for two reasons. First, Hume asked several times, in several ways, why Cheney believes Harriet Miers has a conservative judicial philosophy. The veep dodged and ducked. Second, when given the opportunity to quash rumors that criticism of Miers came out of his office, Cheney ducked again. In this town, that’s about the same as saying “yes, I criticized her.” Miers is neither sunk nor high and dry.
The Miers hearings may begin on November 7. If she doesn’t dazzle the committee with her scholarship, constitutional philosophy and wit — which is possible, but seems unlikely — her nomination will fail. The bar hasn’t been set low for Miers. It has been set even higher than it was for John Roberts.