Last night, Major Garrett reported on ’Special Report with Brit Hume’ that Lindsay Graham and Mike DeWine were dispatched to join the twelve Senators who were trying to avoid the showdown on judicial filibusters by the White House and Majority Leader Bill Frist. Why? The White House and Frist weren’t sure they had the fifty votes to change the rules. Why? According to the report, they didn’t know how Arlen Spector would vote. Without Spector’s vote they didn’t have the fifty votes needed to allow Vice President Cheney to cast the tie-breaking vote. So Graham and DeWine were sent to cut the best deal they could get.
Go here to see the Fox News Report. Once at FoxNews.com, you have to go over to the right hand side of the screen to ’Fox News Access Free Video’ and click on ’Politics’ and then click on the ’Behind the Scenes’ story.
Spector still says, in the report, that he will not reveal his position on the Constitutional or Nuclear option.
DeWine indicated that part of the deal was that filibustering Saad and Myers is not a deal breaker.
So I think Hayward is right that the GOP is stronger following the 2004 election but they still don’t seem to have a reliable 50 votes when it comes to judicial nominations. Remember Spector voted against Bork.