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White House talking points stress Kagan's bio, bipartisan appeal

A source forward the White House talking points on Elena Kagan that are being distributed to outside allies, instructing them on how to make the case for her in the media, and they give us a clue to the White House's strategy.

The White House will point to her bipartisan appeal to neutralize GOP efforts to paint her as liberal based on her opposition to military recruiters on campus:

Leader who Inspires the Confidence and Support of Democrats and Republicans

With an unparalleled ability to bring together people of different backgrounds and beliefs, she has earned praise across the political spectrum for her fair-mindedness, even-handedness, and insistence that all views deserve a respectful hearing. Every Solicitor General over the last quarter century -- Democrats and Republicans -- wrote a letter of support for her nomination as Solicitor General, noting her "brilliant intellect," "candor," and the "high regard in which she is held by persons of a wide variety of political and social views." And her nomination to the Supreme Court is receiving similarly wide support from members of the legal community acrossvthe ideological spectrum.

And the White House talking points stress her bio to neutralize any questions on the left about her ideological leanings:

A Product of a Family that Prized Education and Service to Others

Elena's father was a housing lawyer devoted to the rights of tenants. Her mother was a public school teacher committed to helping her students realize their potential. They sent Elena to an all-girls public high-school where she learned that she could achieve any goal she sought. Following in her parents' footsteps, Elena became a lawyer like her father, using her legal training to serve others, and a beloved teacher like her mother, inspiring the next generation of students to use their legal training to improve lives and communities.

There, in a nutshell, is the White House's challenge: Hail her as a consensus builder with appeal to Republicans, a quality prized enough by Obama to outweigh her lack of judicial experience, while simultaneously reassuring liberals that, by instinct, she's one of them.

By Greg Sargent  |  May 10, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Supreme Court  
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This should be a choice that many center-right conservatives can support.

Posted by: sbj3 | May 10, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Agreed let's see if McConnell cranks up the opposition for opposition sake.

In addition I'm wondering if folks..chime in SBJ,,, are upset with folks observing Kagan's sexual identity and with many referring to her as the "first openly gay" Supreme Court Justice. The W.H. denies Kagan has ever come out but her well known partner at Harvard makes it seem apparent.

As for me I'm not really concerned about Kagan's sexual choices other than to think it would be a nice balance to the nation's highest court to have someone who could at least relate to the large segment of our population that self identifies as "gay".

And so while I don't believe in viewing someone's sexual id for criteria for service in this case I can't but help but think IF SHE IS's a good thing.

Posted by: rukidding7 | May 10, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

They now have to attack her as they now have to attack any policy initiative or appointment. To drop the "alien takeover of our great nation" theme is to admit that Obama might represent something good or American. Complexity and nuance works counter to the propaganda technique they are using. They'll attack, it will be broad, and it will be sustained even while they understand he'll win.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 10, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

"This should be a choice that many center-right conservatives can support."

Why, sbj? How are you using "support"?

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 10, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Kristol, following from Whelan, predictably goes in the direction you'll see at the link. This will be coordinated (100% probability) with the Cheney clan's soon-to-be-heard commentary...

If Republicans continue to lose the "we're like way tougher on threats to America and everyone knows it" propaganda line, they lose a prior advantage they've worked decades to put into place. So they'll push this one here as elsewhere.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 10, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

@ruk: They'll definitely crank up opposition for opposition's sake - give them that at least!

On her sexual preferences: I don't care. It should not matter. If she IS gay, then I wish she would say so because it does "the cause" no good if she stays in the closet. Having said that, however, I think she is under no obligation to do so. I will have one big issue, though, with the admin, if she IS gay because they adamantly said she was not. Their response should have been, "It does not matter." The worst possible thing she could do is speak about her sexuality AFTER she is confirmed.

Posted by: sbj3 | May 10, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

First of all, I don't believe Kagan is gay. I think that's just an old standard that follows all women who reject the "natural" course of husband:children.

I do think Republicans will use this whisper campaign to rally their base for 2010 and forward their argument that Obama/Dems are a threat to God's plan for America. If believed (and it will be), the evangelicals in this country will fear our country is doomed to hell by this selection.

Posted by: Beeliever | May 10, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

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