Very wise on the Bush front, I think. There was an excellent chance that she would not have been confirmed, and that would have been very bad for the administration. She was a mistake on their part in the first place, unless she makes the next candidate more palatable just by comparison, and that was their plan.
I don't think they're quite that machiavellian.
Now we'll see who's next. And that someone should be judged on their merits, not on Meirs'.