Chertoff for his replacement? Although his resume is impressive and he seems qualified he's also kind of a creepy figure like Gonzales. That may be shallow, but it's just an impression. Both were probably included in the innermost circle of knowledge regards why the terrorist surveillance program was started, something Ashcroft was apparently not even privy to. Democrats might see that a tad differently, as they are apt to do.
Nevertheless, a political junkie might tend to speculate about what seems like Rove's last move before departure:
Between 1994 and 1996, Chertoff was counsel to the GOP Whitewater committee investigating the business dealings of President Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton, who is now New York's junior senator and a candidate for president of the United States.It's a small world. Chertoff was a U.S. Attorney in New Jersey when Bill Clinton took office in 1993:
As a senator, Mrs. Clinton cast the only vote against Chertoff when he was nominated for the appeals court in 2003.
Chertoff was asked to stay in his position when the Clinton administration took office in 1993, at the request of Democratic Senator Bill Bradley; he was the only U.S. attorney not replaced.And here we had been told Clinton fired ALL of them! Interesting the Democrats never make an effort to point that out in public. Chertoff was also heavily involved in the Patriot Act, losing points from the left, but was also instrumental in bringing down Enron. He's already been confirmed by the Senate twice in recent years so another confirmation hearing might be interesting since many of the same Democrats are still in power.
Personally speaking, I believe it's possible Gonzales exceeded his Peter Principle Level when he assumed the AG post. Nothing wrong with that, we all have our ceiling. His departure basically cleans the White House for the upcoming political season and his replacement will no doubt be chosen partly for strategic reasons.
Politico is saying another candidate might be Fran Townsend:
Possible successors include Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Frances Fragos Townsend, the assistant to the president for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. One oft-discussed scenario would have Townsend succeeding Chertoff. But a Chertoff confirmation rehearing would mean an exploration of the administration’s handling of Hurricane Katrina.I think they're right about the Dems using the Chertoff hearing to rekindle Katrina, especially right here in the middle of hurricane season and while the Bill Proenza brouhaha has yet to be solved. Besides, Townsend is probably part of the inner circle of knowledge. While that sounds conspiratorial or crazy it's based on open source info that came to light in the recent Ashcroft hospital flap, whereupon it was reported the former AG was complaining that he wasn't completely read-in on the reasons behind the TSP, presumably one of the reasons he finally got frustrated and punted to Comey.
Several Republicans said Towsend might be a promising choice. She was a federal prosecutor in New York City, handling mob and white-collar cases. Towsend worked at the Justice Department under President Clinton's attorney general, Janet Reno. She has become close to Bush and is one of the White House's most compeling personalities for television appearances.
As theories go it's weak and the left might say a bit 'graspy' but it might explain why Gonzales and others have acted so strangely over seemingly nothing. Admittedly, had 9/11 not occurred such thinking would rightly be called irrational.