The White House Bulletin (sub. req.) reports:
Confirmation hearings for Lute could easily turn into a high-volume, sustained attack on the Administration and the increasingly unpopular war in Iraq. Republicans who might otherwise provide some political cover at those hearings are growing increasingly impatient with the war as well, and the appointment of a ‘czar’ at this point in the war and the Administration’s tenure is widely viewed as too little, too late. Indeed, the confirmation hearings could provide the first public forum for Republicans to express their disillusionment with the war and the President. As a result, there has been some quiet talk about considering making the position a White House staff job that would not require Senate confirmation, though it would likely require Lute to give up his military career.