President Bush will step in and save Scooter Libby for two reasons, argues Slate's John Dickerson. First, to repay Dick Cheney for not throwing Karl Rove under the bus. And second, pardoning Libby could help Bush regain Republican support by appeasing conservatives who opposed the CIA leak investigation from the get-go and are riled up by immigration reform.
"The number of people who would be angered by a pardon who haven't already abandoned the president could fit in an airport shuttle bus," argues Dickerson, who goes on to counsel the GOP presidential candidates on staffing any future administration. If they truly believe he's been wronged, he says, they'd do well to "welcome Libby, if not actively court him."