The Chief Justice died last night, which now means that Bush gets to fill no less than two SCOTUS seats that lucky duck. Oh, condolences to the Rehnquist family, of course.
This opens still yet another political front for Bush, when he's already in over his head. There is at least one other major confirmation battle, two more if Bush wants to promote a sitting Justice to Chief. SCOTUS confirmation hearings are a political circus. The high wire part of the circus. Even a "safe" nominee like Roberts is amazing tricky. Can Rove pull off three? The Katrina aftermath is hurting him; TPM has a great take on the White House response to the criticism:
Now at least we have the storyline. The Bush administration wasn't caught sleeping on the job while New Orleans went under with a gutted FEMA run by a guy who got fired from his last job policing horse shows. In fact, according to the new White House storyline, the governor of Louisiana and the mayor of New Orleans didn't ask for help quickly enough. And the White House was powerless to act until they did. Apparently they couldn't even reschedule the president's vacation until the locals got the right forms signed.
Oh then there's the small matter of the Iraq War. Cindy Sheehan is still out there. She currently on a bus tour and will soon be banging on doors in D.C. Plus the Karl Rove CIA scandal has yet to finish up. So can the Bush team simultaneously smear Cindy Sheehan, local NO and LA officials, and defend Roberts and a Justice to be named later? Sounds a little overwhelming to me.