The bad news: There shall be no Attorney General Arthur Branch. The good news: That’s the only bad news, if he’s to be believed. InstaGlenn promises that this won’t be the only pinch-hitting Fred does for Maverick on this subject, and I believe it. After the Gang of 14 and his bizarre comment about Alito (furiously denied but never convincingly debunked), McCain needs all the True Conservative testimonials he can get. Trotting out the guy who helped shepherd John Roberts through the Senate is a good start. Although in this as in so much else, Obama’s his best spokesman: Revisit this quote from February and ponder the alternative.

Exit question: Second look at the Gang of 14? Rick Santorum, of all people, admitted last month in endorsing McCain that Maverick was right and he was wrong. Having it in place now won’t necessarily stop the Democrats from nuking the filibuster to clear the way for Obama’s appointees if need be, but insofar as it exists as a precedent it does make it that much harder for the left to get rid of it without appearing to break some kind of taboo.