September 3, 2007

"Selecting Daddy's top foreign-policy guru ran counter to message. It was worse than a safe pick -- it was needy."

Karl Rove said to George Bush about Dick Cheney -- according to Robert Draper's new book "Dead Certain: The Presidency of George Bush." So much for Rove being Bush's brain.
When Rove, President Bush's top political adviser, expressed concerns about the [nomination of Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court], he was "shouted down" and subsequently muted his objections, Draper writes, while other advisers did not realize the outcry the nomination would cause within the president's conservative political base.
Now, this is surprising:
It was John G. Roberts Jr., now the chief justice of the United States, who suggested Miers to Bush as a possible Supreme Court justice, according to the book. Miers, the White House counsel and a Bush loyalist from Texas, did not want the job, but Bush and first lady Laura Bush prevailed on her to accept the nomination, Draper writes.
But a spokesperson for Roberts denies the report. And there's no clear source for this in the book's footnotes. Seems like a juicy but dubious book. I'm going to guess that Roberts said something about Miers but that it was far from a recommendation that she get the position.


vet66 said...

Obvious jokes aside, it was ridiculous to suggest that Rove was Bush's brain. Rove occasionally came up with an idea that ultimately failed miserably which earned him the the sobriquet "turd blossom!"

Bush made many mistakes during his tenure most, if not all, being amplified by a rabid media long on hyperbole and bias. He can't be criticized for failing to make tough decisions, however.

The book shows a contemplative Bush discussing situations and options with advisers and making the final decision himself.

Simon said...

I think it's exceedingly dubious that Roberts suggested Miers, while Greenburg's argument that Bush nominated her because he was concerned not to repeat his father's mistake (which, with all due respect to Justice Souter, his nomination by a Republican President was) and so sought to draw from a pool focussed on those closest to him who he knew best - Gonzales and Miers - strikes me as eminently plausible.

It's also somewhat reassuring that Rove raised his voice against the Miers nomination; it shows that at least someone in the White House retained a grip on reality, even if they were ignored. Of course, he could and should have done more; God bless David Frum and Bob Bork for speaking out early and loudly against that ghastly mistake.

Unknown said...

What a memory...

The president says to the writer that one of the failings of his prosecution of the war was that Saddam Hussein's army was broken up, in contravention of Washington policy and leading to looting and chaos across Iraq. "The policy was to keep the army intact; [it] didn't happen," Mr Bush says.

But, Draper points out, it was Paul Bremer, the man chosen by the president to administer country after the invasion, who ordered the disbandment of the Iraqi army. What did Mr Bush think when he learnt of that?

"Yeah, I can't remember. I'm sure I said: 'This is the policy - what happened?'"

Unknown said...

vett66 says...with a straight face no less: "He can't be criticized for failing to make tough decisions, however."

Unfortunately damn near all of them were the WRONG decisions.

I can't believe you still support this idiot.

Simon said...

Greenburg thinks it's absurd too.

PatCA said...

With all these infighting hangers-on, it's no wonder Bush's message is garbled and paralytic. The one time he was spontaneous, at the WTC, he was excellent. In a time when a presidential campaign actually announces the choice of a logo (Obama), perhaps I shouldn't be surprised.

halojones-fan said...

Sources? Who needs sources? It must be true or they wouldn't print it! And anyway, it's the kind of thing that's probably true--maybe not in this specific instance, but I'm totally sure that Bush said something like that sometime, and that's just as good, right? I mean, this is George 'dubya' Bush we're talking about here!

(so goes the Dem/Left thinking on the matter.)