I caught a bit of this morning's "Meet the Press" journalist roundtable on NBC. It should come as no surprise that there were four journalist guests, and not an identifiable conservative to be seen.
The assembled members of the high council expressed the consensus view that a pardon for I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby would not be forthcoming before Jan. 2009. Among the reasons for coming to this conclusion was the further political damage George W. Bush would take with such a move and the negative effect it would have on the GOP candidates running for president in 2008.
If those make a whole lot of sense to you, then you must be living inside the beltway.
Pardoning Libby now would be a plus for Bush among his frustrated and apathetic base and it's not as though his critics on the left will improve their assessment of the president if he eschews an immediate pardon. A Libby pardon is a one-week story (it should be a one-day story, but the media will go ape for a week, that's the most mileage they'll be able to get out of it).
As far as the GOP race for president goes, that's going to hurt them? Has the media forgotten Hillary is in the race? If pardons become an issue, they're going to slam Hillary far more than any of the GOP contenders. None of the GOP hopefuls have any connection with the administration on pardons. Sen. Clinton, on the other hand, has to deal with her husband's last minute pardons (see Marc Rich) and the inconvenient truth that her brother was taking consulting fees and "loans" (of the sort that you don't need to pay back) to lobby former President Clinton for pardons.
The reporters may very well be correct that President Bush won't pardon Libby until the closing hours of his presidency, but their reasons justifying that analysis is laughable.