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   A Fascinating New Standard for Confirming Nominees

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1/28/2005 12:00 am

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Entered 1/28/2005, Updated 1/28/2005

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On "This Week" with George Stephanoopoulos, Biden said he would vote for Rice because, "The president gets a chance to pick the person who he thinks will implement his policies. He got elected. She's an honorable person. The fact that I don't think she knows where to take the country right now and I don't think the president has made that decision or hasn't told her yet doesn't mean not to vote for her."

Biden has said elsewhere, that if a nominee has committed a crime or is somehow clearly unqualified for the job (COUGHkerikCOUGH) then that's reason to vote against a nominee. But otherwise, the president ought to get the cabinet he wants.

But now New York Democrat Chuck Schumer is offering a very different, and unusual standard:

"He was so circumspect in his answers, so unwilling to leave a micron of space between his views and the president's, that I now have real doubts whether he can perform the job of attorney general," Schumer said. "It's hard to be a straight shooter if you're a blind loyalist."

... Disturbingly, I've heard reports that Schumer's staffers are unwilling to leave a micron of space between their views and the senator's, and there are few if any accounts of Schumer staffers having public fights with their boss. ...


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