The White House was breathing a sigh of relief on Sunday afternoon: no major dustups on the Sunday morning talk shows, no huge headlines breaking through to carry over into the early part of the week, seeming clarity on the Frist investment story, etc.
That clears the way for a Supreme Court announcement should the President decide to move quickly and pick up a week's worth of possibly good news. Too many names in play right now to make predictions, but one source we speak to fairly regularly made clear the President is not locking himself into young, or minority, or woman picks. That may mean Michael Luttig is more in play than we had been led to believe. It means a woman older than 50 might be in play (good news for a certain judge with ties to Ohio).
The greatest argument for the President to go with a strict constructionist is the political legacy he can create for the Republican Party down the road. A strong conservative majority on the court frees up the GOP to hold the political lights of Giuliani to less rigorous social litmus tests, and to focus on winning elections with the best man or woman available. That would be a good thing, particularly in 2008, when the political dynamics will be wildly different from where they are now.
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