Clement Headfake

So Paul Clement was Acting Attorney General for all of four hours this morning. But then Bush replaced him with the former (re-current?) head of the Civil Division, who had resigned but I guess is sticking around for a while (hat tip Pontificator).

It’s a pivotal time for our nation, and it’s vital that theposition of Attorney General be filled quickly.  I urge the Senate toconfirm Judge Mukasey promptly.  Until the Judge is confirmed, AssistantAttorney General Paul [sic] Keisler will serve as acting AttorneyGeneral.  Accepting this assignment requires — Peter — I said — PeterKeisler.  Accepting this assignment requires Peter to delay thedeparture date he announced earlier this month, and I appreciate hiswillingness to do so.  Peter is the acting Attorney General.  PaulClement, who agreed to take on this role, will remain focused on hisduties as Solicitor General, so he can prepare for the Supreme Courtterm that begins just two weeks from today.

Dunno whether I buy the explanation–that they did that because Clement has a very busy SCOTUS season coming up. Or whether they decided, at the last minute, that they didn’t want Clement in charge of the Department.

I’m also curious with the way that Bush ties this mini-announcement so closely with his demand that Mukasey be approved quickly.

I wonder if Clement gets to list Acting AG on his resume, now?

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