Anyone who was watching all the filibluster recently had to know it wasn't really about these two women who sat quietly beside their president as he complained about their nominations being held up in the Senate. No, this was about O'Connor. Yeah, yeah, all the blabber was about Rehnquist retiring, but he'd be replaced with a similar conservative ... no real movement.
It would be O'Connor's departure that Bush might need the so-called nuclear option for and indeed the time is here. Just one problem --- his approval ratings are in Nixon territory. If the Senate tips toward the left next year and Bush loses that control, wow ... watch out. There will be hearings on Gitmo, on Haliburton and on everything that's has simmered for the last 5 years.
And that's why, in my sun-soaked moment of screen writing I thought how can Bush save himself? There's only one answer: Nominate Hillary Rodham Clinton to replace O'Connor. When you're done laughing, think about the problems this would solve for Bush ...
- NY Governor George Pataki would replace Senator Clinton with a Republican -- Rudy? Are you ready?
- There could be no clearer "gesture" of reconciliation ... reaching across the aisle toward democrats.
- As a member of the court, Clinton would obviously be out of the '08 presidential race.
- More importantly, she would not be raising money for the democrats, which is why such a move would make the Democrats more weak in the knees than Republicans. She'd be out the radical right's hair (on the political side) virtually forever. Holding control on the Senate in '08 would be a lot more secure with Hillary out of the picture.
She might just say no, which would make the gesture argument even more perfect, but she'd have to be careful in doing it. When your president calls, you answer.