Ashcroft to leave

Having parlayed his election loss to a dead man into a top federal job and a national attack on personal liberty, Attorney General Ashcroft is now tired and is likely to step down.

Names that have been floated in recent weeks as a possible replacement include Ashcroft’s former deputy, Larry Thompson, who would become the first black attorney general. Others include Marc Racicot, who was Bush’s campaign manager, and White House general counsel Alberto Gonzales, who would give Bush a notable Hispanic appointment.

Also sometimes mentioned is former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, but his spokeswoman said he’s not interested. “Rudy Giuliani is not taking John Ashcroft’s job,” Sunny Mindel said.

No, Giuliani is too busy thinking about 2008.