As I mentioned before, I think that the successor to Miers if her nomination goes down in flames would be most likely Mike McConnell, followed by Edith Clement. They would need someone with great intellectual stature, well-regarded by conservatives but without a RvW paper trail, or anything else comparably insurmountable, who is also well-respected and well-liked across the aisle. McConnell fits the description perfectly. So long as they're not set on a 'diversity' pick, McConnell is the one.
If they are set on an AA justice, then Edith Clement fits the bill. JRB and PO and EHJ have too long of a paper trail, and would cause a firestorm over RvW.
To avoid confusion, I am speaking of Mike McConnell the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals judge, not Senator Mitch McConnell.
I'm not sure Clement would unite conservatives either.
Conservatives tanking Miers on ideological grounds (or lack of paper trail ground) if she does well at the hearings from a competence standpoint, will make an O'Connell confirmation to be somewhere between very difficult to impossible. They would then have the cover to do it (the right wingers reject a competent choice because she lacks a paper trail, so we can reject a competent choice on the same grounds, with more of a paper trail.) The Dems and Rino's won't stand for it. If I thought otherwise, and thought Bush would indeed select McConnell (which would require getting over the woman bit), that would be a most excellent, indeed compelling, reason to knife Miers. I would join in the crowd around Brutus myself.
"If they are set on an AA justice, then Edith Clement fits the bill."