From NBC's Chuck Todd
Quick Saturday post just to see if you folks are paying attention to anything NON-Iraq. Frankly, many of us are not. But what does it say about the team Giuliani is surrounding himself with if the second major appointment Pres. Bush makes these last six months is somebody who endorsed the former New York City mayor?
According to the Washington Post, former Solicitor General Ted Olsen is viewed as the leading candidate to become the nation's new Attorney General. Why Olsen? His reputation is top-notch and he should have little problem getting through the confirmation process. Oh, and conservatives love Olsen.
Earlier this year, Giuliani lost his chief Iowa supporter, former Congressman Jim Nussle, when Bush named him the nation's Budget Dir. He was just confirmed into the post last week.
Giuliani folks will argue that the preferences Bush is making by tapping his supporters for key admin posts is proof the GOP conservative establishment is not afraid of Giuliani. Will that message resonate with GOP primary voters? The only downside for Giuliani, having key top endorsers end up in the Bush administration is that if he's the GOP nominee, he'll look less like a change agent.
Still, losing endorsers to the administration is very much a compliment to Giuliani, at least as far as the GOP establishment is concerned.