I don't think it's cronyism — Bush's pick of longtime legal aide Harriet Miers (search) for the Supreme Court.
I think it might be Laura Bush's choice.
I think it just might be Texan George W. Bush saying, "Hey, can't figure these East coast guys out, I'm going with the Texan. I know her and trust her."
But I also have a third possible explanation that goes like this:
This is what happens when the president is politically weak. He is less likely to take chances.
Same thing with Katrina and Rita. A politically weak president throws $200 billion dollars at the problem. A politically strong president — a Republican — might say, "Hey, we have to rebuild the Gulf Coast, but let's not go crazy on the money."
Bush's polling numbers are up to 40 percent approval.
That's the definition of weak.
It's laughable that the Democrats — like Terry McAuliffe (search), who was on this show last week — would say Bush isn't doing enough for the Gulf Coast and we need a Marshall Plan. Two hundred billion isn't a Marshall Plan?
Talk like that is how Bush got weak. He can't do anything right far as the Dems are concerned, even when he outspends them.
The other reason Bush is weak is his Social Security plan. He drove into the ditch — in the high weeds — on that from the start. Yes, it's a problem. But it took him off the war, which was always his strength.
While he avoided talking about the war, lost focus on Iraq, the Dems kept pounding on it like the election campaign was still underway. And it worked. They got some Bush supporters to flip.
So why does the Miers choice demonstrate weakness? Because Bush can't afford even more divisive fights that people like Bill Kristol (search) and Pat Buchanan (search) might have taken on to have a solid gold conservative on the court.
Bush had to go with somebody he thinks he knows. The conservative critics don't know her and don't trust her. It's Bush who does know her and does trust her.
So the question for history: Has Bush read Harriet Miers right?
We shall see.
That's My Word.
Watch John Gibson weekdays at 5 p.m. ET on "The Big Story" and send your comments to: email@example.com