Dymphna, who blogs at "Gates of Vienna" (see the blogroll) and "Neighborhood of God," thinks that Harriet Miers's nomination and subsequent withdrawal was orchestrated by Rove.
So what did her time at bat accomplish? Well, it sure galvanized the base didn't it? George W got the message: people are paying attention. So he paid attention back and gave them what he'd planned to give them anyway: a decent nomination. So now they like him again. And by nominating Harriet, he got his licks in for the evangelical base, too. And Laura could give us the party line about "needing to have a woman on the Supreme Court." Everybody's happy and now Harriet can go back to obscurity as the White House Counsel. Or whatever.
Meanwhile, the Dems are looking longingly backwards at Ms. Miers. They could have had a field day bashing her for weeks. And then they'd have passed her and she would have "grown in office" -- i.e., moved left.
I think she's right about this. That Rove is a sneaky fellow, and for all the ridicule Bush receives, he is, too. As Machiavelli says,
The choice of ministers is of no small importance to a prince; they are good or not according to the prudence of the prince. And the first conjecture that is to be made of the brain of a lord is to see the men he has around him; and when they are capable and faithful, he can always be reputed wise because he has known how to recognize them as capable and to maintain them as faithful. But if they are otherwise, one can always pass unfavorable judgment on him, because the first error he makes, he makes in this choice. (The Prince, ch. 22, trans. Manfield)