Hayden Pick Latest Bush Misstep?
Veteran AP political writer Tom Raum thinks President Bush’s nomination of General Michael Hayden to replace Porter Goss at CIA may be the latest in a series of political missteps.
Once again, President Bush may have misjudged the extent of GOP resistance to one of his decisions. His nomination of a four-star general to serve as CIA director has drawn complaints from Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike.
The criticism of Bush’s CIA choice, at least initially, did not appear deep enough to put Hayden’s confirmation chances in serious jeopardy. But it seemed certain to yield contentious confirmation hearings — and likely to widen the rift between the White House and some members of his own party on Capitol Hill.
Hayden is no Harriet Myers, let alone a Mike Brown. No one doubts that he’s superbly qualified for the job. The only questions are whether a serving general should head up the top civilian intelligence agency (although House Intelligence Committee chair Pete Hoekstra now says resigning wouldn’t be enough; the issue is perspective, not a chain of command) and the extent to which the nomination hearings will focus on the NSA eavesdropping controversy.