Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

From Holden:

OK, so far both James Dobson and Little Scottie are on the record claiming that Harriet Miers was not Chimpy’s first choice for the Court, and that several other candidates declined the nomination. Does anyone believe that? The gagglers do not.

Q Scott, you said earlier today that some potential nominees or candidates for the nomination for the Supreme Court had withdrawn their names from consideration, requested that their names to be withdrawn. Who were those people?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I’m not going to get into any names, John, out of respect for the nomination process and out of respect for those individuals who may or may not have been under consideration.


Q Scott, a point of clarification on a question. Can you clarify for us how many potential nominees withdrew their candidacy, and when did that take place?

MR. McCLELLAN: There’s a couple. I mean, any time you’re going through a —

Q Was that on Friday, or —

MR. McCLELLAN: Any time — no. Any time you’re going through a confirmation process you have a fluid and dynamic list that is expanding and contracting, and people are being added to it, people are being taken off of it. Sometimes you’re going through a vetting process, and people may be taken off of it for various reasons. And then sometimes along the way, people express that they would prefer not to be considered, and there were a couple of individuals in this instance that asked that they not be considered. And that was when the list was longer; the list was in the double digits at that point in time.


Q When you said a couple of individuals withdrew when the list was long, was that prior to the Roberts’ nomination, or in the interval between Roberts and Miers?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, I think it was more in the interval.

And in your Daily Les today, it looks like Kinsolving has been doing a bit of research on Ms. Miers. Watch Scottie squirm.

Q Scott, Worldnet Daily reported in 1995 Ben Barnes, Texas former lieutenant governor, secured a contract for a company called GTECH to run the Texas Lottery. And my first question: Did Harriet Miers continue the Texas Lottery’s contract to GTECH without bid, so that Barnes received a $23 million payoff as part of the deal, authorized by Miers?

MR. McCLELLAN: I would encourage you to go back and look at news reports at the time, because the governor’s office at the time denied any connection that you may be asserting within your question. That’s an issue that’s already been discussed, and I think that Ben Barnes has said the same.

Q In 1999, a former executive director of the Texas Lottery, named Lawrence Littwin, filed a lawsuit alleging he lost his job as a result of political influence wielded by Barnes. And my question, since this Littwin suit was settled out of court for $300,000, what is the White House response?

MR. McCLELLAN: The allegations have been disputed previously by both the governor’s office and — by the governor’s office at the time, and by Mr. Barnes. I would encourage you to go back and look at the comments that were made at the time. I’d be glad to provide those to you if you would like.