Closer. Bush has such an opportunity here, and on record I'll be the first to praise him if he chooses to be "a uniter not a divider" with this choice. From the NYTimes:
President Bush held talks today with Senate leaders from both parties to discuss the Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's retirement, exchanging views in a breakfast meeting that was portrayed as part of his administration's efforts to seek the thoughts of most senators before and after a nomination is made.
After the meeting, Mr. Bush told reporters at the White House that he was "closer today than I was yesterday" in making a decision on a nominee.
"We're actively seeking recommendations," he said.
Mr. Reid said on Monday that Democrats would try to cooperate in complying with the president's request that the seat being vacated by Justice O'Connor be filled by Oct. 1. But he pointed out that Justice O'Connor had agreed to remain on the court until her replacement was confirmed and that only six justices are needed for a quorum.
Today, Senator Reid said, "There are no timelines."
There has also been speculation about the possible retirement of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist or other members of the court.
Mr. Specter said on Monday that he thought practical matters like the scheduling of hearings could be addressed at the White House session. Lawmakers and senior aides say confirmation hearings are not likely to begin before Sept. 6, when Congress is to return from its August recess.
Today, Mr. Specter said, "We're retaining some flexibility on that subject," referring to the timing.