By nominating Judge Sotomayor, what Obama is trying to do is find a way to get his agenda enacted from a (politically) comfortable distance. After all, he can't plausibly claim not to know and/or understand all about the judge's rulings, history and legal ideology; he's a lawyer and presumably a very smart one.
So what does it tell you about the real Barack Obama that he nominates a judge who ruled that -- unlike the rest of the Bill of Rights -- the protections of the Second Amendment (the right to bear arms) weren't extended to the states?
Or a judge who ruled that fish must be protected from a power plant regardless of the cost-benefit analysis of doing so?
Or a judge who dismissed real reverse discrimination issues of constitutional import with a one-paragraph opinion -- with so little thought that it earned a slap-down from her mentor, Judge Jose Cabranes?
In other cases, it might be unfair to impute to a non-lawyer President full understanding or support of a judicial nominee's cases.
In this case, however, it's a revealing window into what President Obama really believes. He's going to try to get Judge Sotomayor to do his political dirty work for him.