Prime time is a special time in America—a time when families gather ’round the warm glow of the 42-inch screen to watch sitcoms, cop shows, and the occasional presidential address about bombing some country. But Tuesday will be different as President Bush goes before the cameras at 9 p.m. to announce the winner of the 2005 Supreme Court Sweepstakes.
Wow, that was fast: Just yesterday the president was asked about his pick at a White House press conference with the prime minister of India.
Q: We understand you are now close to a decision on a Supreme Court nominee.
THE PRESIDENT: Really? (Laughter.) It’s amazing how Washington works, Mr. Prime Minister. (Laughter.)
Q Have you narrowed down the list and met with finalists? Will you now share the list with Senate leaders to avoid a confirmation battle, as Democrats have proposed?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you for telling me where I am in the process. I appreciate that. We’ve consulted with the Senate. We will continue to consult with the Senate. I, of course, am the person that picks the nominee, and they get to decide whether or not the nominee gets confirmed. That’s the way it has worked in the past. That’s the way it’s going to work in this administration. And of course I’m reviewing a different candidate. I’m reviewing their curriculum vitae, as well as their findings. I will sit down with some and talk to them face-to-face, those who I have not known already. You know, we’ve got some people that—perhaps in contention that I’ve already spent time with, that I know; in other words, I’m familiar with some of the people that are being speculated about in the press. And so I don’t need to interview those. But of course I’m going to take a very thorough approach.
Like, totally thorough (Laughter): As recently as 11:53 a.m. on Tuesday the president was telling reporters “I’m comfortable with where we are in the process” of the Supreme Court pick. Apparently, where the president was in the process was at the end.
Of course, in information warfare, timing is everything, and the Bush White House is a synchronized machine. No surprise, then, that the name of the Supreme Court nominee is going out in prime time tonight. What better way to get the Karl Rove story off the top of the news broadcasts or the front pages of tomorrow’s papers.