There was a breakfast meeting at the White House today, and the president came out and discussed it. His meeting was with — Let’s see, who did he meet? — Arlen Specter, Harry Reid, Patrick Leahy and Bill Frist. Yeah. So he met with Specter, Leahy, Frist and Senator Harry Reid about the current vacancy and what might be an up-coming one.
Just to set this up: last week, the president sort of smacked down some conservatives for daring to suggest that the attorney general, Alberto Gonzales, would be an unacceptable Supreme Court nominee because of substantive issues. One was an opinion he wrote in a Texas parental-notification case when he was on the Texas Supreme Court, and the other was his role as White House counsel in watering down the administration’s brief against reverse discrimination in admissions policies at the University of Michigan.
Now, the conservatives didn’t attack Gonzales personally; they were very respectful, but they nevertheless said publicly they had problems with him, and the president slapped them down — and today has a meeting with his enemies, along with Frist and Specter. I don’t even know that you’d call Specter a friend in this fight, and it just seems that on occasion the administration here is far more friendly to its enemies than it is to its friends. It does appear that way. I don’t know why he’s meeting with these people. It’s not going to change what the Democrats say about him. It’s not going to change how they act in the Senate. It’s not going to change a thing — unless, of course, they gave him a list of names and he names one of them, in which case, you know… I can’t imagine that. So we’ll just have to wait and see, but we do have these audio sound bites. There’s some public opinion out there that does not look good for the Democrats, and you’d think the administration could capitalize on it.