Pardon Me?

President Bush issued some end-of-year pardons today, and Mark Knoller has the tally. -- Ed.

The President issued 16 pardons and 1 commutation of sentence. No immediately recognizable names. The crimes involved include drug offenses, making false statements, moonshining, and tax code violations.

By my count, it brings President Bush's numbers on pardons to 113 -- far less than all of his recent predecessors, except his dad:

Bill Clinton - 396

George H.W. Bush - 74

Ronald Reagan - 393

Jimmy Carter - 534

Gerald Ford - 382

Richard Nixon - 863

Lyndon Johnson - 960

John Kennedy - 472

I asked Mr. Bush about his pardon philosophy at a news conference in August, and the fact that he's granted far fewer than all but one of his recent predecessors. Here's what he said:

"...I, frankly, haven't compared the number of pardons I've given to any other President. Perhaps I should. But I don't think a scorecard should, necessarily, be the guidepost for pardoning people."

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    Mark Knoller is a CBS News White House correspondent.