Personal connection--dating service or judicial nominee criterion?
After a day filled with rumors, the announcement of Roberts as the court nominee took much of Washington by surprise.Okay, quick quiz. About whom did Bush say the following:
A senior White House official stressed yesterday that the choice reflected a personal connection that Bush made with Roberts during the vetting process.''He really hit it off with Roberts," the official said. ''As you know, the president is a person of intuition and he saw in [Roberts] not only a brilliant legal mind but a terrific judicial temperament."
<>I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straight forward and trustworthy and we had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul.> He's a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country and I appreciate very much the frank dialogue and that's the beginning of a very constructive relationship.If you guessed Vladimir Putin in June 2001, you're correct! And if you've been following any news over the past four years about developments in Russia--or should I say, frightening regressions from anything an American would recognize as democratic process, or care for the vast majority of the citizens of Russia--then you can be the judge of just how wrong Bush's intuition can be. Or, how specious. Is recourse to "intuition" just another rhetorical tool for dodging the possibility of being asked about any specifics?
I've posted in the past about how government is no place for these kind of criteria when we're considering filling positions of importance--lifetime positions that will shape the legal reality under which we all live, no less. Of course, you want the President to be able to work with people on his own staff (although there is a little something called professionalism that should prevail in the interests of serving the public). But what legitimate relevance the president's personal liking for a person who will not even serve in his branch of governance, let alone his office, has in this case, I am at a loss to say.