But if he does Pardon Libby before his prison sentence starts, then he will "violate Justice Department guidelines, alienate much of the public and run the risk of cover-up charges."
A Cable News Network/Opinion Research survey conducted after Libby's conviction found that 69 percent of respondents opposed a pardon while 18 percent favored it. At the same time, a pro-Libby firestorm is being fanned by self-described conservative bloggers and talk-radio hosts, and many conservative leaders are asking the president to step in. [Snip]Bush already has the lowest poll ratings as President since Nixon the last few weeks before he resigned. Whatever he decides, his polls can only go lower.
"It tells you what a deep, dark, dank un-spinnable hole Bush is in when he has to pardon a guy to appease 30 percent of the country," said Democratic strategist Chris Lehane, a former aide to Vice President Al Gore.
A pardon might also raise fresh questions about whether Libby had been acting at the request of his superiors. "I think he sort of took one for the team," said [Paul] Weyrich, [head of the Washington-based Free Congress Foundation, a small-government educational group.]
Even now Bush was unable to get the Republican Party to get his Immigration Bill through the Congress. His Presidency is over but has 20 months left to run. His legacy will be the unnecessary preemptive invasion and badly botched occupation of Iraq. He still will obstruct whatever he can, though, so the U.S. is in for a long period on Automatic pilot.