In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Rosen Defends Article, Backs Off On Sotomayor, Calls Her 'Able Candidate'

There are, to be sure, some very negative assessments as well, and Rosen says they vindicate his critique. But a Sotomayor supporter who once clerked on the second circuit for a different judge disputes that interpretation. "I was...shocked by his implication that because prosecutors dislike her it means she isn't fit -- in fact, it should be the reverse," the source said. "If prosecutors have a low opinion of a judge it's probably because she challenges them, rather than rubber stamping their allegations as many judges do."

As a peculiar footnote to this entire imbroglio, the last paragraph in Rosen's post contains unexpected sentence: "Sotomayor is an able candidate--at least as able as some of the current Supreme Court justices--and if Obama is convinced she is the best candidate on his short list, he should pick her."

Which is rather different, at least in tone, than the conclusion he reached in his original article. "Given the stakes," Rosen wrote, "the president should obviously satisfy himself that he has a complete picture before taking a gamble."

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Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at