1. Compromise — By my count, Reagan had two nominees that turned out not be very conservative at all. Nixon had one who became the king of abortion rights advocates. Ford had ultra-lib John Paul Stevens. Bush had another total lefty with Souter. I think we can stop the compromise and just appoint one who thinks the right way, judicially speaking.
When Clinton appointed the former chief counsel of the ACLU, we didn’t complain much, did we? She sailed on through with nary a remark about extreme leftists.
2. Bill Kristol is CONNECTED — He told us a week ago that O’Connor would be the one retiring. He’s looking pretty potent right about now.
3. The decline of gender politics. Since a bevy of Bush minority and women candidates have been knocked around for ideological reasons, you don’t see anybody talking about how the Pres. must appoint a woman. The Dems are far more concerned they get another Souter instead of a conservative African-American lady. The liberal plantation is alive and well.
4. The EXCEPTION: Being Hispanic still matters a lot because of the explosion that demographic. I predict Judge Gonzales is coming on board.
5. If I had my pick, I’d go with Michael McConnell or Alex Kozinski. Heavy duty intellects both and pleasantly non-left (though Kosinzki is more libertarian if I recall).