Monday, February 21, 2005

The Bush Tapes

One of the more interesting questions to ponder for the second Bush term is what sort of candidate he will try to offer for the inevitable vacancies on the Supreme Court now that Rehnquist is seriously ill.

The New York Times reports on the release of audio tapes made of long conversations between the President, then campaigning for his second term as Governor of Texas and one of his political consultants. Among the interesting insights into his attitudes and plans is this nugget pointing to the likelihood of a nominee that will please the Christian conservatives, regardless of how noisy the confirmation process:
During the primary contest, Mr. Bush often sized up his dozen Republican rivals, assessing their appeal to conservative Christian voters, their treatment of him and their prospects of serving in a future Bush administration. He paid particular attention to Senator John Ashcroft. "I like Ashcroft a lot," he told Mr. Wead in November 1998. "He is a competent man. He would be a good Supreme Court pick. He would be a good attorney general. He would be a good vice president." When Mr. Wead predicted an uproar if Mr. Ashcroft were appointed to the court because of his conservative religious views, Mr. Bush replied, "Well, tough."