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Gonzales under fire


As we mentioned earlier, Alberto Gonzales didn't win rave reviews for his testimony yesterday. The Washington Post: "[He] appeared frustrated, weary and at times combative during a five-hour Senate panel hearing that was widely considered crucial to his bid to hold on to his job. He sought to present a careful defense of the firings, apologizing for the way they were handled but defending them as the "right decision."

The analysis from the New York Times: "Not a single Republican, with the possible exception of Senator Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, came to Mr. Gonzales's defense — not even his old Texas friend Senator John Cornyn."

The Wall Street Journal: "[I]t was Republican senators who asked questions that went to the heart of earlier misleading and incomplete answers from Mr. Gonzales and others at the Justice Department in explaining how the attorneys were fired. It was Republicans who returned repeatedly to questions about how Mr. Gonzales could stand by the firings, yet not explain why each one was carried out."
The headline from the San Francisco Chronicle: "Gonzales fails to dispel calls for resignation." More from the paper: More: "Despite weeks of preparation for what was widely viewed as his last chance to save himself, Gonzales left senators from both parties saying that any of the eight fired attorneys could have done a better job testifying."

Bloomberg: "'Bottom line, it may not have been a knockout punch, but he took 20 steps backward,' [Democratic Sen. Chuck] Schumer said. 'If the attorney general would look into his heart' he would 'submit his resignation.'"

USA Today says the name of another Administration official hovered over Gonzales' testimony: Karl Rove. "The name of President Bush's longtime political guru surfaced repeatedly from Senate Democrats seeking to tie him to the dismissals of eight U.S. attorneys."