‘In a month, who will remember the name Harriet Miers?’ The statements of Mississippi Republican Sen. Trent Lott summed up the past month of speculation surrounding the President’s supreme court candidate, Harriet Miers. Today the President announced that he had ‘reluctantly accepted’ Harriet Miers decision to withdraw her nomination. The President cited his unwillingness to yield executive privileged documents, pertaining to Harriet Miers qualifications, to a bipartisan request as the reason he had accepted her withdrawal.
The news should come as a relief to many right-wing conservatives who were displeased with the nomination, citing Mier’s questionable judicial stances on abortion, gay rights, and affirmative action. For weeks the White House has been unsuccessful in redefining Harriet Miers as a candidate worthy of the support of the conservative right.
Does such news signal a shift in White House power? Bush has never been a President to cave to political pressure. His plans for Social Security reform, tax cuts, and Iraq have all been embattled with political pressure but the message has remained clear, stay the course. If the President couldn’t handle the backlash surrounding Mier’s nomination, how can he hope to surmount future backlash from the war in Iraq?