Not long after Harriet Miers gave up on becoming a Supreme Court justice, I made a couple of predictions about the nature and fate of the next Bush nominee. How did I do? Pretty well, I guess. It's not much to brag about, given that circumstances had narrowed the politically feasible options, but a fellow has to take his gloating where he can get it.
First, I predicted that "Bush will nominate a much more clearly and conventionally qualified candidate this time, one that will satisfy the intellectual conservatives so chagrined at Miers' nomination." Certainly, Samuel Alito fits the mold for a trustworthy and competent conservative judge. I think it fair to say, too, that the intellectual conservatives who disdained Miers regard Alito as, though hardly thrilling, satisfactory. The Miers' nomination showed, after all, that Bush could have done much, much worse.
Second, I predicted that "the new Bush nominee will rouse the Democrats into action, leading to a loud confirmation fight in the Senate. Democrats will not filibuster. They will lose. The nominee will win confirmation." I'd rate that as spot-on, though I concede that "blustery" might fit better than "loud."
I didn't predict the nomination of Alito, as I didn't commit to any particular nominee. I did say that I regarded Judge Edith Jones as "the most likely candidate," however. Bush surprised me, there, by not treating O'Conner's seat as hereinafter set aside for women only.