Warning Shots Fired at Fitzgerald?

It wasn’t too long ago that Ken Mehlman, former political director at the White House under Rove, was heaping praises on Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald during “Meet the Press”:

I have tremendous confidence in Pat Fitzgerald. He’s a career prosecutor. He’s a tough prosecutor. That’s why he was put in charge of this case, because people want to get to the bottom of it. And that’s why it is so outrageous that these partisan smears would occur this past week. The question is this: Do the people that are smearing Karl Rove not have confidence in Mr. Fitzgerald? Do they not think, in fact, he’s going to get to the bottom of it? Or would they rather, than getting to the facts, try to make political gain?

Host Tim Russert then asked Mehlman the obvious questions: “If, in fact, he indicts White House officials, will you accept that indictment and not fight it?…Will you pledge today, because you have tremendous confidence in him, that you will not criticize his decision?” Despite the urgings of Russert (and Center for American Progress CEO John Podesta), Mehlman would not take that step.

Bob Dole’s attack today on Patrick Fitzgerald may quite possibly be the first warning shots of a coming right-wing campaign to undermine Fitzgerald. Is someone in the White House getting nervous?