According to the New York Times, the president's choice of Alberto Gonzales to replace John Ashcroft is all part of a Rovian strategy to eventually get Gonzales onto the Supreme Court -- but also to pave the way for Bush's first high court nominee to be a "conservative favored by his political base."
"'It's a thank you to the right for the election,' said one Republican adviser to the White House. 'And they think they need to strike now in the post-election glow.'
The theory, the Republican said, is that Mr. Bush will be at the apex of his power at the beginning of the second term, and in a strong position to battle Democrats in any Supreme Court confirmation fight. 'So you do the toughest nominee first,' the Republican said."