Miers and the White House are saying it was about documents, not qualifications:
President Bush said he reluctantly accepted her decision to withdraw, after weeks of insisting that he did not want her to step down. He blamed her withdrawal on calls in the Senate for the release of internal White House documents that the administration has insisted were protected by executive privilege.
The President’s statement is here.
Confirm Them points to the pdf of the withdrawal letter.
Trent Lott on Fox News just now: “In a month, who will remember the name of Harriet Miers?” Ouch.
The big pro-Miers bloggers have yet to comment, but I’ll keep my eye on them. Update: Hugh Hewitt says, “I think Ms. Miers has been unfairly treated by many who have for years urged fair treatment of judicial nominees.”
Bill Kristol is on Fox smiling right now: “I think it was the exact right thing for her to do.”
Who will be next? Trent Lott mentioned Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown. I like Alice Batchelder, too. Folks are saying a nomination may come at the beginning of next week.
Scott Ott has a spoof: “Miers Withdraws to Spend More Time WIth Humans”
Ankle Biting Pundits gives the news a couple exclamation points, and predicts the President will come through with a solid nominee:
If he does, the fissures between the President and conservatives that opened up on account of the Miers nomination will certainly be quickly forgotten, much like the fights you had with your siblings when growing up.
Let’s also not forget that the very wise Charles Krauthammer offered this document exit strategy.
Ed Gillespie on Fox: “We felt very good about her confirmation…WE were looking forward to those hearings… I was looking forward to the time Harriet Miers could voice her own views on the Constitution.”
The Daily Kos calls it a win for wingnuts, and People for the American Way says:
Harriet Miers’ withdrawal from her Supreme Court nomination demonstrates that ultraconservatives are so determined to swing the Supreme Court sharply to the right that they pounded their own president’s nominee into submission, and now demand a nominee with unquestioned far-right credentials, said Ralph G. Neas, President of People For the American Way.
Dick Durbin on Fox: “What we need now is a centrist nominee, someone who’s not too far to the right or too far to the left…If the President picks and extreme nominee, I’m afraid of what will happen on Capitol Hill.” Duhn, Duhn, DUHN!!!
Harry Reid: “I hope the President doesn’t reward the bad behavior of his rightwing base.”