Mary Katharine Ham
Al is out the door:

Mr. Gonzales, who had rebuffed calls for his resignation, submitted his to President Bush by telephone on Friday, the official said. His decision was not immediately announced, the official added, until after the president invited him and his wife to lunch at his ranch near here.

Mr. Bush has not yet chosen a replacement but will not leave the position open long, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the resignation had not yet been made public.

Mr. Bush had repeatedly stood by Mr. Gonzales, an old friend and colleague from Texas, even as Mr. Gonzales faced increasing scrutiny for his leadership of the Justice Department, over issues including his role in the dismissals of nine United States attorneys late last year and whether he testified truthfully about the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs.

Gonzales leaves without about one political ally to his name, and now we'll hear another cloying Bush speech about how a guy no one really liked and who brought considerable problems upon the administration through his own bone-headedness was actually the greatest guy evuh.

The U.S. attorneys scandal has always struck me as a boring and hollow one, but Gonzales didn't handle it well once it broke. In addition, he hadn't earned a lot of friends in the conservative movement, so when liberal blogs and activists went after him, there were very few who bothered to speak up on his behalf. He inspired outlandish (and unwarranted) hate on the Left and just about nothing on the Right, and it's hard for anyone to stay employed in that environment.

I don't think it's entirely Gonzo's fault that he was left without friends. He's suffering largely from the Bush fatigue of the entire nation, including conservatives, and the ever-increasing Bush Derangement Syndrome of the Left. His tenure might not otherwise have ended this way, but hey, them's politics.

News conference at 10:30 a.m., and then the replacement...

Maybe Chertoff
?

Update: Avoiding the confirmation fight?

The acting attorney general with be Solicitor General Paul Clement. He "can stay in that position for quite a while," a senior administration official said.

That would avoid a bruising confirmation fight. Some Democratic senators have vowed now to confirm a Gonzales successor.
Update: Video of the aforementioned cloying speech.

Mary Katharine Ham

Mary Katharine Ham is editor-at-large of HotAir.com, a contributor to Townhall Magazine.

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