Somehow we missed this quote from Manuel Miranda reported in the New York Sun: “I think Ed Gillespie is way out of his league. He’s running this as if it’s a campaign.”
Miranda was referring to Gillespie’s serving as an adviser on the Harriet Miers nomination. Miranda, who has a number of axes to grind against a number of Republican establishment and conservative types (he was a victim of political infighting in the Senate Judiciary Committee, and was forced out of his position in the Senate), including Senator Orrin Hatch, has in classic Inside the Beltway fashion created a job for himself as judicial adviser to the Bush Administration whether they know it or not. But he shouldn’t be taking pot-shots at or second guessing in the press a fellow like Ed Gillespie.
There are few in this town who could dispute that Gillespie did a bang-up job for Dick Armey and House Republicans back in the 1990s, or for Republicans nationally in the 2000 or 2004 elections. He by all accounts did a fine job with John Roberts. He surely is doing the best he can with Harriet Miers.
Yes, the Miers nomination is being treated like a campaign in the same way the Roberts nomination was treated like a campaign, and the way the Fed Chairmanship will be treated like a campaign. The difference is Gillespie this time may not have a great candidate. And by all accounts from folks who have spoken to Gillespie in both public and private settings, while he is loyal and doing the best he can for the Administration that has asked him to help, he has also been realistic, frank, and good natured about the Miers fight with his fellow conservatives. If only Miranda were capable to doing the same, we’d all be better off.