President Bush nominated retired federal judge Michael B. Mukasey today as attorney general. Seen as a compromise that would avoid abrasive confirmation struggles but still maintain DoJ’s law-and-order mindset, the choice comes after Democrats vowed to block the more controversial Ted Olson, reports the New York Times.
Bushies hope Mukasey, neither a White House confidant nor a Washington insider, will be confirmed before the Senate’s October 8 recess. And indeed there are already signs of consensus, as Sen. Chuck Schumer called the candidate someone “who would put rule of law first” and the Weekly Standard editor approved Mukasey despite hard-right deficiencies. But as much as Bush may want a quick turn of the page, he couldn’t help looking back today—calling departed Alberto Gonzales “a dear friend and trusted advisor.”