Harry Reid Draws A Line In The Sand

One of the basic rules of political power is never to stake everything you have on a fight you are not sure of winning. But with rumors swirling that former Solicitor General and Reagan Justice Department official Ted Olson might be tabbed as the next Attorney General, the Senate Majority Leader yesterday laid down an ultimatum on which he was willing to stake the full prestige of his office:

“Ted Olson will not be be confirmed by the Senate,” Reid said after a Capitol news conference. “I intend to do everything I can to prevent him from being confirmed as the next attorney general.”

Reid may well be betting on a sure thing, as the rumor of the day is that Olson is no longer the frontrunner for the job, perhaps due to White House concerns over a messy and difficult confirmation process for Olson in spite of his stellar resume, unquestionable qualifications for the job, past confirmations by the Senate and undoubted ability to best any Judiciary Committee Senator in verbal combat. But for a Senate leader who has accomplished little and failed at many of his goals since gaining the majority, betting it all that Ted Olson will never be confirmed is a risky gamble.

5 thoughts on “Harry Reid Draws A Line In The Sand”

  1. I wonder if he knows something about Olson no longer being the front runner. If so, it’s a clever statement because it will look like he forced Bush to back off if Olson is not nominated.

  2. What WD said.
    Even if that’s not the case, going on record as saying Olson will not be confirmed is something he and the Democrats can control. He’s not guaranteeing Olson will never be AG, Bush can always recess-appoint him, but Reid and the Dems can keep him from being confirmed if they want to.

  3. Olsen would be a massive upgrade over the current AG. Well qualified, might be a Senate brawl worth having.

  4. This kind of childish nonsense has become too common since Robert Bork was attacked by Senator Lifeguard (D) Chappaquidick. I know the Republicans pulled the same stuff off on Clinton’s nominations for an ambassadorship or two and also some judicial nomination that W tried to make right by re-appointing the same guy after he took office. In any event, it is one of many reasons some us (well me, anyway) are beyond cynical about elected politicians from both parties.
    I had hoped that when we passed term limits in California that it would have helped to get bad blood out of office. Once again, I am proven a hopeless idealist to believe that any good come come from government.

  5. Gonzo was a problem from the start… And while I strongly supported John Ashcroft at the time, him being in that office turned out to be a mistake, something that was reinforced in my mind, when we were at the YAF Midwest Conference a couple months ago, and he was the keynote dinner speaker. (I wish I’d had a chance to blog about that!)
    Perhaps former U.S. Congressman James Rogan (R-CA)? Or perhaps we should bring back Ed Meese…
    Or better yet, why not forget about Ted Olsen and the rest, and just…
    Bring Back Bork!!

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