The presence of Karl Rove in town today reminds us of something we meant to mention earlier. We noticed that the D-G today caught up on our Insider item last week that U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins is planning to leave the office soon to return to the private sector. He has four kids to feed, after all.
We'd speculated previously that Tim Griffin, an Arkansas native and formerly No. 3 man in Rove's political operation, is thought to have the president's favor for the job. Democrats probably will oppose his nomination in the Senate. They understand that the president could make a recess appointment and thumb his nose at the confirmation process. After all, a U.S. attorney appointment isn't likely to cause much of a broad public ripple and what does Bush care about Arkansas? However, a hearing would be held first and, if it happens, Democrats won't miss a chance to attempt to tie Griffin to the Republican Party's black voter suppression efforts.
However much Griffin may deny that Republicans would ever do such a thing -- or, if they diid, that he had anything to do with it -- there's enough smoke in Florida and Ohio to give the issue some potency, particularly with the party base. Allegations of dirty tricks aside, Griffin has been a top-level Republican political operative most of his legal career. Too political to be in a prosecutorial role, Democrats believe.
You hear from Democrats, by the way, that Cummins is being urged by the administration to step lively out the door to create this slot for Griffin, who's moving to Little Rock after completion of reserve military duty. For the record: Cummins insists that he's under no pressure to leave and that he'd never planned to serve out the remainder of this term. Indeed, he suggested as much to us several months ago.