Great anti-Democratic Party slur: The president has just referred to it as the "Democrat Party." Nothing irks Democrats more than that dismissive formulation.
The Spectacle Blog
What a tired question. Elisabeth Bumiller must have drawn straws for this Bush presser question, a variation of, "Where have you made mistakes?" How lazy. Pick a specific failure and ask him to comment.
The NYTimes' Elisabeth Bumiller remains mired in New Orleans muck. Is there anything the president would have personally now done differently? Some people used to always have Paris. We'll always have New Orleans.
"Am I still a conservative? Proudly so."
Terry Moran now. A morning poison pill. But Bush is ready to take his medicine. Once "spending" becomes the topic, all eyes can glaze over.
Again, for the third time, the President has stressed he picked the "best person" he could find. Now comes the abortion question. "I have no litmus test." "What matters is her judicial philosophy." "So there's no litmus test." "Not to my recollection have I ever sat down with her." John Roberts (of CBS, not the Supreme Court) to the rescue. An Iraq question.
This is exciting, blogging while the President speaks (our timer is 12 minutes fast). Oh, oh, the Clarence Thomas moment: a President Bush has described his nominee as the most qualified he could have chosen. This is an odd event, a president on day two reintroducing, for all intents, his nominee. He has also had to explain he wants the private sector to lead post-Katrina/Rita recovery efforts. He's having to plug gaping holes in his political levee.
At this morning's press conference, President Bush vowed to help Congress cut "non-security spending" to offset Katrina and Rita spending. He even said the word "offsets." It's a start.
Amid the noise over Harriet Miers, what do the law profs think? Better yet, what do those law profs whose judgment I trust think? Two of them should give conservatives pause in their reaction to President Bush nominating Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.
Notre Dame Law Professor Rick Garnett is pleased. And Douglas Kmiec, former Catholic University Law School dean and Pepperdine law professor, writes today that the critics are rushing to "prejudgment":
Conservative and liberal alike were dumbfounded. With a long list of distinguished federal jurists and formidable constitutional minds to choose from, how could the president select someone lacking not only a Supreme Court clerkship but, as far as anyone knows, even a Supreme Court appearance?
Easy. The president actually believes that, as Alexander Hamilton put it, the Supreme Court is intended to be "the least dangerous" branch of government.
President Bush does a newser at 10:30. We'll be there.
I'm sure he'll be asked about this. Not sure what to make of it. If Miers had no interest in the group's endorsement, why bother? The answers in themselves don't reveal much, beyond a sensibility that no one would appear to object to.
There is some pessimism about this nomination inside and outside the White House with current and former aides. But in the past 18 hours, the White House has done a good job of getting the right people talking about Miers. Given where we stood yesterday morning on this nomination, it's fair to say we've moved over to the supportive side of things. Will go into specifics later, but there is now a comfort zone with Miers that we didn't have a day ago.
This is the problem, however. This comfort zone is based entirely on personal relationships. Friends telling friends that Miers can be trusted, that she's solid. There is nothing more. And that is a huge problem for the White House right now.