President Bush, stung by the rejection of his first choice, nominated longtime judge Samuel Alito Monday in a bid to reshape the Supreme Court and mollify his conservative allies. Democrats said that Alito may be "too radical for the American people."Et cetera, et cetera, yada, yada, yada.
"Judge Alito has served with distinction on that court for 15 years, and now has more prior judicial experience than any Supreme Court nominee in more than 70 years," Bush said, drawing an unspoken contrast to his first choice, Harriet Miers.
Unlike her nomination, which was derailed Thursday by Bush's conservative allies, Alito faces opposition from Democrats.
"The Senate needs to find out if the man replacing Miers is too radical for the American people," said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada.
Alito's nomination is one step in Bush's political recovery plan as he tries to regain his footing after a cascade of troubles rocked his presidency. His approval rating in the polls has tumbled to the lowest point of his presidency and Americans are unhappy about high energy prices, the costly war in Iraq and economic doubts. Bush also has been hit by a criminal investigation that reached into the office of Vice President Dick Cheney and led to the indictment of I. Lewis Libby, the vice president's chief of staff, on perjury and other charges in the CIA leak investigation.
This time, the president will have the benefit of the full backing of the conservatives in his party. This time, we won't have to wait for the confirmation hearing to find out who the heck the nominee is. From what I've read so far, Alito looks like a judge worth fighting for.