Behind the scenes, Republican allies of the White House said they were trying to put together a public relations strategy to combat the mounting criticism over the Miers nomination.... They said the White House was working to assemble a dossier that would back up its case about Ms. Miers' record of accomplishment, her legal qualifications and her conservative credentials.Oh, they are just now getting around to figuring out a strategy about how to support her nomination? How easy does Bush have to make it for his critics? The resonance with the usual arguments about lack of planning for Iraq, Katrina, etc., couldn't be more obvious.
Jim Dyke, a former spokesman for the Republican National Committee who has joined the White House to help confirm Ms. Miers, said in an interview she was being seriously underestimated.I love the way Dyke's first attempts at persuasion instantly undermine his credibility.
"President of the Texas bar association, president of the Dallas Bar Association, head of a major law firm, those are impressive credentials and they are being summarily dismissed," Mr. Dyke said. Asked about Mr. Specter's remark, Mr. Dyke said that as White House counsel, Ms. Miers already had "a mastery of the Constitution and constitutional law," and said she needed to do nothing more than any other nominee to prepare. He added, "There seem to be some unfair assumptions being made."
Several Republicans, including Mr. Specter, said they steered clear of asking Ms. Miers questions about constitutional law. Mr. Specter, who said the timing of the confirmation hearings would depend in part on when Ms. Miers felt ready, said he initiated a discussion of the shifting standards the Supreme Court has applied in interpreting the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, but only to illustrate to Ms. Miers the kinds of questions she would face during her hearings.But she has a mastery of constitutional law, I've heard.
"I did not ask her about it because I don't think she's ready to face it at the moment," he said. "Look, the lady was White House counsel dealing with totally other subjects until Sunday night when the president offered her the job. And Monday she's sitting with me. I'm not going to ask her questions which she hasn't had a chance to study or reflect on."
One conservative advocate, Sean Rushton, executive director of the Committee for Justice, said generating enthusiasm for Ms. Miers was proving difficult because "anytime we put out something positive about her it gets shot to pieces by all our allies and the blogs."Oh, the blogs! Keeping you honest, demanding credibility, dismantling specious arguments. It's a real pain, isn't it? You can't get even get your propaganda started these days.