Bush's Man From Humble

Is Alberto Gonzales, a self-made Hispanic lawman, a kinder, gentler version of John Ashcroft? The Democrats aim to find out

When George W. Bush returned to the White House on the afternoon of Election Day, chief of staff Andrew Card presented him with a five-page handwritten letter of resignation from Attorney General John Ashcroft. The letter, written a few days earlier and sent quietly to the White House, was in stark contrast to Ashcroft's often brash style as the nation's top cop. The President, distracted by exit polls suggesting that he might be heading for defeat, absorbed the thrust of Ashcroft's missive, then put it aside and said he would deal with it later.

Last week he did. The President nominated...