The Ashcroft Battle: How Bush Chose Ashcroft

Was George W. Bush trying to pick a fight when he chose one of the most outspoken conservatives in the Senate to be his Attorney General? The short answer is no.

Ashcroft was not Bush's first choice for AG--or even his second. Bush wanted his fellow Governor and fishing pal Marc Racicot of Montana for the job. A conservative with a moderate temperament and a pragmatic approach, Racicot would have drawn only token opposition from Democrats--much of it owing to his star turn as a Bush spokesman during the postelection battle in Florida. But Racicot had more problems on the right...

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