The Spectacle Blog
Sources inside the Judiciary Committee and Democratic Senate leadership say that the one week carryover in the vote on Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito is something that was put forward by Sen. Harry Reid and his staff, in consultation with Democrats both inside and outside the Senate. Presumably this means Sen. Dick Durbin and Howie Dean over at the DNC.
Democrats and their operatives insist that "shoes are going to drop" about Alito and the nomination in the next couple of days. From our media contacts, we aren't hearing about anything earthshaking that anyone is working on. There just isn't anything out there. The man apparently is what he has appeared to be: authentic, bright, and more than competent.
Interesting. According to Democratic leadership sources, this is but the first of what may be a series of shifting strategic moves by the leadership to wring every last drop of drama and angst out of the nomination:
WASHINGTON (AP) - Democrats will force an one-week delay in the Judiciary Committee's vote on Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito, Senate aides say.
There will be all kinds of tea-leaf reading about the formal annoucement that former RNC Chairman and all arounnd GOP-go-to-guy Ed Gillespie has signed on as the treasurer of Sen. George Allen's leadership PAC.
One of the lingering questions around town is which camp of prospective '08 Presidential candidates Gillespie might join. This move doesn't necessarily answer the question, but it should give conservatives some indication about where the battle lines are going to be drawn in the coming couple of years. And it focuses a national spotlight on Allen in a way that it wasn't a few weeks ago. It means Allen will be a bigger player and supporter of Republican races around the country.
That Gillespie would commit to the Allen sidegig would seem to indicate that he isn't going back into the White House in an official capacity. There has been lingering talk over the past few months that he might fill Karl Rove's or Andy Card's job should either leave. Anything could happen, but it's doubtful Gillespie would commit to a big job as a national fundraiser unless he thought his calendar was clearer in the coming months.
Sen. Harry Reid is the most politically unethical leader in Washington. By this we mean he is willing to lie and manipulate facts and information he provides to his constituents and the American people to suit his purposes regardless of the cost.
For example: before the Christmas recess, he claimed he wasn't playing politics with the renewal of the USA PATRIOT Act. Yet sources tell us that Reid aides and other members of the Democratic leadership staff who were coordinating with sympathetic media and third party operatives, threatened the New York Times with going public about the NSA anti-terrorism prevention program themselves if the Times did not run the story they had been sitting on for almost a year before the Act's renewal debate was over. Reid said he had little to do with the threatened filibuster of the Act's renewal.
The power plays among Ariel Sharon's possible successors have already begun. One Israeli correspondent e-mailed this morning that Sharon is close to death and isn't likely to make it. His temporary successor, Ehud Olmert, is already attracting intense fire. Stay tuned. This will be a prolonged and important change. The only short-term beneficiaries will be the Palestinians, who will now claim they have no "peace partner" in Israel, and will return to higher levels of violence almost immediately.