Supremely Speculative — SCOTUS Talk Gets DC In A Lather

President Obama is getting this close to making his Supreme Court selection to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of Justice John Paul Stevens, so we know what that means — Washington is in a tizzy about when and how and who will be his choice.

Politico’s Mike Allen set the Internet aflame this morning by reporting in his Playbook newsletter that the nomination would definitively come on Monday and with a strong suggestion it would be Solicitor General Elena Kagan. Is the report accurate? I asked the White House.

“In a word? No,” an aide told me.But the White House added to that speculation about Kagan by sending out defensive talking points about her record on diversity while serving as dean of the Harvard law school.

All we really know is that Obama has met in person with at least four candidates in person and could make his choice at any moment from a longish short list (detailed here), but with a wide-open schedule today, it’s definitely possible he’s having more meetings before the decision is made.

From Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on down, everyone in the West Wing is being dodgy, saying only that Obama is close to his decision and that the announcement could happen any moment. (But given the good economic news, today is looking less-and-less likely.)

Over at ABC’s “The Note” political tipsheet, Rick Klein writes the “smart money [is] on early next week” and offers a little scoop that MoveOn, Alliance for Justice and People for the America Way plan to run this ad in the Washington Post next week.

NBC’s First Read doesn’t mention the court selection at all.

“Every day is a possibility,” Gibbs said in his briefing yesterday after mocking reporters wanting every last detail.

Allen attempted to deliver those details in Playbook today, even suggesting that the West Wing could “leak the pick to AP’s Ben Feller,” who broke the Sonia Sotomayor news last spring, on Sunday night. Allen also carefully worded his item to say “look for it to be Solicitor General Elena Kagan,” an unsourced report that a judicial interest group used to send out a press release bashing Kagan.

Of course, it could very well be her, and Monday remains a strong possibility. Or not.