Monday, January 02, 2006

Alito is "not going to be the well-manicured nominee"

Alito Team Says He Lacks Polish, But Grit Is a Plus - New York Times: "WASHINGTON, Jan. 1 - As Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. enters his final week of dress rehearsals for his Supreme Court confirmation hearings, participants say his performance has already made one thing clear: he will never be as polished and camera-ready as Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. was at his own hearings a few months ago.

'He is not going to be the well-manicured nominee,' said one participant in the rehearsals, known as murder boards, at which Republican lawyers have played the roles of interrogating senators. 'That is not to say it is going to be worse. It is just going to be different.'

How Judge Alito will come off before the panel of senators and television cameras is an unknown in the politics of his confirmation. Senators of both parties have said it will not be easy to follow Chief Justice Roberts, about whom Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, said 'they retired the trophy' for an outstanding performance by a judicial nominee.

And some Democrats said they already had much more pointed questions waiting for Judge Alito, focusing mainly on strongly worded statements that he made as lawyer in the Reagan administration about his conservative approach to the Constitution, abortion rights and other issues. Leading Democratic senators have said his responses will be a deciding factor in whether they seek to block the nomination by filibustering.

But two of Judge Alito's supporters who participated in the murder boards, speaking about the confidential sessions on condition of anonymity for fear of White House reprisals, said they emerged convinced that his demeanor was a political asset because it gave him an Everyman appeal.

'He will have a couple hairs out of place,' one participant said. 'I am not sure his glasses fit his facial features. He might not we"

Should be fun to watch him respond to Ted Kennedy, after a 5 minute blather time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It'll be interesting to see how it all comes out...