July 6, 2005


Fierce Defender of President to Lead Campaign for Court (ELISABETH BUMILLER, 7/06/05, NY Times)

Ed Gillespie was called "President Bush's pit bull" during the 2004 presidential campaign, when as chairman of the Republican National Committee he seemed to live on cable television trading snarls with Terry McAuliffe, his attack dog of a counterpart at the Democratic National Committee.

So Mr. Gillespie, 43, might seem a strange choice to manage the expected fight in the Senate over who will replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, since the job will include delivering moderate Democratic votes for whomever Mr. Bush selects as a Supreme Court nominee.

But Republicans said that White House officials turned to Mr. Gillespie as their battle commander for two reasons: his organizational skills in managing the chaos of a political campaign and, hot television rhetoric aside, his longtime ties across the aisle.

"As soon as the camera lights went off, we'd have a lot of conversation," Mr. McAuliffe recalled on Tuesday. "We're both strong Catholics, we both have a lot of kids, we spent a lot of time talking about our kids. We get along great. For two years, I spent more time with Ed than I spent with my wife."

If Ronald Reagan had liustened to Joe Biden and, realizing how tough the Bork fight was going to be, put together this good a team, Mr. Bork might have made it through and Washington wouldn't be so partisan a place.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 6, 2005 5:35 PM

Don't count your chickens before they're hatched.

Posted by: Brandon at July 6, 2005 6:11 PM

Don't judge a cook by her cover.

Posted by: obc at July 6, 2005 6:16 PM

Didn't I just hear that Fred Thompson was going to lead the battle?

Posted by: erp at July 6, 2005 6:58 PM

Once Bork called the Ninth Amendment a nullity, he was toast, and deservedly so.

Posted by: bart at July 6, 2005 7:24 PM

Unfortunately, the partisan sniping began with the Fortas filibuster and Nixon's choices of Carswell and Haynes. To their immense credit, the GOP is going full-steam ahead with Thompson, et. al.; too bad Jerry Ohrbach's dead.

Posted by: at July 6, 2005 7:29 PM

What? Jerry would have sung the nominee through? With a little soft shoe on the side?

Posted by: ratbert at July 6, 2005 8:58 PM

Thompson's been named to handle things from the nominee's end, because that's more of a public relations battle -- he'll be the one you see on TV. Gillespie's doing the organizational work with the Senate, presumably to make sure there's not another Vonivich/Bolton nasty surprise secnario waiting in the wings during the confirmation hearings.

Posted by: John at July 6, 2005 11:06 PM

Bork getting nominated wouldn't have made DC any less partisan, but it would have prevented most of the asinine decisions that have come down the pike, partially because of his vote, and the vote of the true conservative jurist H.W. could have nominated instead of the quisling Souter.

Posted by: MarkD at July 7, 2005 9:56 PM