Upon hearing that Ted Olson might be the AG pick I had two thoughts: 1) why would he take it ( the grief of a nomination, entering a flagging administration in its last year) and 2) Rudy will be losing a big asset for his campaign (Olson chairs the legal advisors group and has been an effective spokesman on Rudy’s potential judge picks). I now think: 1) this will make Olson an even more revered figure on the right and 2) it’s going to be another political windfall for Rudy. His campaign circulated this from his KFSO radio interview today:
“He’s been my friend since 1981. But beyond that, you know, I’m a lawyer. I’ve argued before the Supreme Court once–he’s argued before the Supreme Court 40 times. And he is just one of the best [lawyers] in the country, and I put in that category Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. … He’s a good man, a really, really good man. And a man who is not a partisan in the sense that when he has to do his job as a lawyer or he has to do his job as a government official, he knows how to separate those things. He believes passionately in the Republican Party, but my goodness, who is a Republican President going to appoint? Is he going to go appoint Democrats? I mean that doesn’t make any sense. Every once in a while you do that, but that isn’t generally what you do.”
So provided the President nominates him and the Democrats, despite advice from people like Lanny Davis, go into raving hysterical mode, the President, Olson and his most vocal defender — Rudy — all come out winners. And this, James, is the perfect example of why Rudy is making some headway with social conservatives: he knows who to fight, when to fight and what to say to rally the faithful.