Ted Olson is no Fredo: Matt Cooper, the Washington editor of Portfolio, still thinks Ted Olson, his attorney in the C.I.A. leak case, would be a good attorney general. “I wouldn’t appoint him Attorney General because I’m not a hard-core conservative,” Cooper writes at Capital, his Portfolio blog. “But this president is.” Cooper continues:

And Ted Olson, unlike Alberto Gonzales, is incredibly well qualified, maybe the best qualified person, to take the job under a Republican president. What’s more, he’s right wing but not, I think, reflexively so. After all, he sided with former Associate Attorney General James Comey in that showdown with Alberto Gonzales and Andy Card at John Ashcroft’s hospital room. He’s got a civil libertarian streak; see his work on First Amendment issues. As an experienced litigator, he’s by nature less of an ideologue than a judge or academic.

Senate Democrats, who are threatening to reject Olson if President Bush nominates him for the post, should be careful what they wish for. “[I]f Dems reject him, that’s a bad precedent for their presidencies,” Cooper writes. “They ought to be free to appoint liberals who are as partisan and brilliant as Olson.”

(Cooper made a similar case for Olson in August.)