The president has three choices on the pardon of Scooter Libby. He can pardon him now, get it over with and take the political flak. (And save the Libby donors to his legal defense fund millions for additional appeals.) Second, he can wait until all the appeals are over, presumably after the 2008 elections, and lump Libby in with his other pardons. This would save the 2008 Republican presidential candidates a heck of a lot of grief. The third option, of course, is to let the legal process take its course and not pardon him at all.

Even though Libby would serve very little time in all likelihood, my guess is that the Bush folks open door No. 2 and pardon him after the legal appeals are over and, hopefully for them, the 2008 elections are over.

Libby does know too much, he is a loyal soldier, and like Cap Weinberger and Elliott Abrams before him, the crowd of neo-conservatives stick together. And look where Abrams ended up? Sitting right next to Condi Rice, the close adviser and, of course, the convicted felon.

After all, there is precedent by these Republican presidents.