Rich Galen

  • Jill Zuckman of the Chicago Tribune:
    Alito's smooth responses frustrated Democrats as they sought to pin him down on past statements, speeches and legal opinions.

    "I don't think we've heard anything from the nominee except statements that every nominee would make," complained Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who fruitlessly tried to pin Alito down on his personal opinion about whether the Constitution allows for the right to an abortion. "Every nominee would say, 'Of course I will keep an open mind.' You don't expect a nominee to say, 'No, no, no, my mind's closed.'"

  • The only closed mind in the Schumer-Alito colloquy was Schumer's.

  • Democrats in the Senate, according to Bill House of the Arizona Republic, "are embracing a concerted strategy to emphasize and underscore how Alito is no [Justice Sandra Day] O'Connor.

  • The Republicans, one hopes, are smart enough not to allow the Democrats to make that an issue. I seem to remember the Kerry campaign suggesting that the election in November, 2004 was important because the winner would likely get to nominate at least two Supreme Court Justices.

  • Well, the Kerry campaign was right. Elections, as we like to remind each other when we're feeling especially pithy, have consequences. One of them is, neither Joe Biden, Ted Kennedy, nor Chuck Schumer get to pick the nominee.

  • Going back to that CNN appearance, last Friday, I said that these hearings would not change two votes. When I said that, I was willing to accept one vote each way. But based upon Judge Alito's excellent performance so far, if any votes change they will likely be from "Nay" to "Yea."

  • Yea!

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: A link to the CNN transcript; and really meaningless Mullfoto and a Catchy Caption of the Day.

  • Rich Galen

    Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at