President Bush’s press conference this morning was a total flop, specifically on the issue of his latest Supreme Court pick. Bush took the podium to defend and bolster Harriet Miers, whose support in conservative circles is faltering.
However, he failed to list even one reason why conservatives should be reassured she is not David Souter II.
(When two conservative Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee—Sam Brownback (Kan.) and Tom Coburn (Okla.)—issue lukewarm statements, Bush should have gotten the message that he needed a stronger defense.)
Bush repeatedly spoke about Miers’ accomplishments as a trailblazing woman in Texas, which Rich Lowry at NRO does an excellent job of critiquing this morning. Bush spoke about his close relationship with Miers, his White House counsel and former personal lawyer. He spoke about her character and personal attributes. And, as he I wrote about earlier, he insisted she wouldn’t change views—even 20 years from now.
But when asked repeatedly to explain how she fit in the mold of Scalia and Thomas, Bush dodged the questions. He went back to his prepared remarks on Miers time and time again. No matter how the question was asked, Bush failed to address it.
What does this leave conservatives thinking?
Either Bush had an off-day before the press, or he has no evidence to show Miers is a true conservative. The White House should be worried.