This was in a piece yesterday in the Chicago Trib on Alberto Gonzales potential SCOTUS nominee: A “senior administration official” comments on conservative opposition to Gonzales for SCOTUS: “Does he [the President] care enough that that would stop him?” the official asked of whether Bush would nominate Gonzales over conservative opposition. “It would be a benefit to the party over a long period of time, and it would be historic.”
That doesn’t strike me as Rovian genius (i.e. this probably didn’t come from a senior White House official, I’d bet): Besides dissing conservatives, whose enthusiasm and support they’ll need, “Senior administration official” just admitted that a Gonzales nomination would be about politics–”benefit to the party,” including identity politics?
How about nominating the most qualified candidate? Which, for starters, given the recusal problems Ramesh and Ed Whelan have written about, AG Gonzales is not.