Blogger Conference Call with Steve Schmidt
Patrick Ruffini has organized a blogger conference call with Steve Schmidt, Special Advisor to the President in charge of the White House Confirmation Team for Judge Samuel Alito, for 2 p.m. EST. I wasn’t able to get a question in on the last one; maybe I’ll have better luck today.
Opening Remarks highlights: Process off to terrific start. Alito one of most qualified nominees, ever. Reaction from Senators “very, very positive” on both sides of aisle based on early meetings. Democratic legal scholars have also given him high praise.
“Unfair attack ads and unfair attacks will come.” Reference to coming People for American Way ad debuting this weekend. Lots of buzz words about bias and disappointment and fairness. Blah blah blah.
Defense against brewing recusal controversy that no one will care about anyway.
My question was the first one:
- Q: Why didn’t we nominate this guy to begin with rather than the obviously unqualified Harriet Miers?
A: We’re here to talk about Judge Alito. Harriet Miers continues to work at the White House and I’m very proud to work with her. Next question.
So far, the answers to other questions have consisted of repeating that Alito is extraordinarily qualified and loudly emphasizing other buzz works repeatedly.
He ducked a question about the “constitutional option” from John Hawkins.
Actual news: “We have an extraordinary amount of confidence in Chairman Specter.”
He ducked two consecutive questions on why the White House isn’t annoyed that Specter has set the confirmation hearings for January, given that Alito is not particularly controversial. Schmidt repeatedly emphasized what a swell guy Specter is and what an extraordinarily qualified fellow Alito is.