Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Updated on November 10 at 3:15 pm

The White House just announced the nomination of White House Counsel Alberto Gonzalez for Attorney General.

Gonzalez, 49, had been placed on the Texas Supreme Court by then Governor Bush and then brought by W to the White House. This nomination by W reflects some risk taking on the part of W and Alberto. One, if there is an opening on the United States Supreme Court soon, related, say, to Chief Justice Rehnquist’s cancer, W can’t really go to the guy he just put at DOJ, even though he may want the nomination to go to an Hispanic. Two, there could be a lot of political minefields for Alberto to walk through at DOJ, e.g., DOJ positions on issues relating to abortion, comments on suggested modifications of the Patriot Act, etc. A misstep on any one could be fatal to Alberto’s potential nomination to the Supremes.

On the other hand, some suggest that a few of Alberto’s abortion decisions when he was on the Texas State Supreme Court make him unacceptable to social conservatives. Perhaps the AG position will give Alberto a chance to prove himself both to social conservatives and to U. S. Senate Democratic [and Republican] moderates whose support he may need to avoid or overcome a Democrat filibuster on his future nomination. This whole thing is a tightrope act for Alberto.
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of “Public Affairs,” can be reached at