When Congress returns from break next week, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he expects President Bush will have a nominee ready to announce as a replacement for Alberto Gonzales, who resigned Monday as Attorney General. Grassley, a Republican, says Gonzales made a "tremendous impact" in several areas of the U.S. Justice Department, but made "management missteps" and didn’t handle the spotlight well when they were exposed.
Grassley says: "The Democrats have gotten what they’ve wanted and called for for a long time with Gonzales’ resignation. I expect Democrats to bring the nominee up so that we can confirm somebody as quickly as possible and get the Justice Department on the right track." Senator Joe Lieberman, a Democrat Senator from Connecticut, is being discussed in some circles as a possible replacement for Gonzales. Grassley doubts Lieberman would go for it.
Grassley says: "Lieberman’s not silly enough to take the job. He’d be a good Attorney General. I think that he would be loyal to the president, but he’s a new six-term re-election person for the United States Senate. He would be crazy to give up the position." Grassley adds, if Lieberman decided to leave his Senate post representing Connecticut to become Attorney General, it would disrupt the balance of power in the chamber.
Grassley says: "If he were to give it up, we have a Republican governor out there in that state which means that we would have Republican control of the United States Senate if (Lieberman) were to take that position and I doubt if he would do that." Grassley says he hopes Democrats send a clear message to the president that they’ll get somebody quickly confirmed and not politicize the process.
He says, "The Attorney General is a very important position in our government, and if we’re going to get a qualified and respected person to accept the nomination, that person will need to know they won’t be drug through the mud for a short-lived stint."