We all know that confirmation hearings can be pretty nasty - that is why candidates are vetted before being nominated. How realistic is it that President Allen needs six months (as said in the show) to nominate a new attorney general, then decides on an old buddy - but apparently does not have him seriously vetted by her staff?
Jim Gardner (as her chief political advisor and chief of staff) is experienced enough to know that Templeton will orchestrate problems for the Allen administration whereever he can, especially when it comes to confirmations of new cabinet members. He has to know that whoever is nominated will be under serious scrutiny, and therefore he has to make sure that any candidates are virtually saints.
I find it hard to believe that this administration could be caught be surprise like this. But I find it even harder to believe that they would be able to get Brantley confirmed despite the ongoing media onslaught - Commander In Chief\\\'s story lines really do not compare well to \\\"The West Wing\\\".