The Right Coast

October 17, 2005
Bush's Off-Key Message
By Gail Heriot

The Bush administration continues to have a political tin ear when it comes to the Harriet Miers nomination. Senators Brownback and Allen, both presidential aspirants, have evidently been told that they will receive no help from Bush if they don't get in line behind the Miers nomination. Political arm twisting isn't pretty under the best of circumstances. But in this case it is made doubly disagreeable on account of the identity of person selected to deliver the message. The task has been given to Tom Rath--former New Hampshire Attorney General. The problem is that this is the same Tom Rath who "actively assisted" in the confirmation of another Supreme Court nominee a few years back--David Souter. Other sources call Rath a "close friend of Souter's since the 1970s." Whatever one thinks of the merits of the Miers nomination, it would seem prudent for the Bush administration to avoid such symbolic blunders.