Blogger Conference Call With The Head Of The Alito Confirmation Team
At 2 PM, several bloggers were in on a teleconference with Patrick Ruffini, the RNC’s eCampaign Director and Steve Schmidt, Special Advisor to the President in charge of the White House Confirmation Team.
I asked two questions, one of which was: “If the Democrats were to filibuster, would President Bush like to see the constitutional option used?”
Schmidt sidestepped the question.
Later on, Matt Margolis from Blogs for Bush asked why the hearings were being put off until January despite the fact that in the past, hearings have been done in as little as a month. Schmidt came across as not being particularly concerned about the delay.
This worries me — just a little bit — because the Democrats are going to throw everything but the kitchen sink at Alito. They’re going to lie about him, they’re going to smear him, and they’re going to try to personally destroy him in every way possible. Is the President going to be willing to fight for him throughout the process? Is W. going to be willing to do what it takes to make sure Alito gets 50 Republican votes, even if he has to politically threaten some squishes behind the scenes? If there is a filibuster, is Bush going to be willing to twist arms to make sure the nuclear option is used? I would certainly like to think so.
On the other hand, Schmidt did at least seem to be very confident that Alito would get the votes he needs to be confirmed and that there would not be a filibuster. So, this may just be a case where the White House is so confident Alito is going to make it through that they’d rather just keep their powder dry for now.
Here are some of the other reactions from bloggers on the conference call: