Kavanaugh’s Remarks

September 27, 2018 4:28 p.m.

Quick thoughts on Brett Kavanaugh’s opening statement. To me he seemed more unhinged than forceful. It had been telegraphed that he wanted to show more emotion than he had in earlier testimony. He certainly managed that. He testimony seemed openly partisan, showing his roots as more of a political operative than a jurist. His testimony was almost the definition of someone who lacks a judicial temperament. For all this though I also know I was not the intended audience. For that audience of Republican senators and Republican voters I do think he went some way to at least stabilizing the catastrophic damage he suffered this morning.

I think he quickly lost ground in his only questioning from Democrats. Yelling works better in a statement of defense than it does in a question and answer with a senator. Feinstein asked a straightforward question. He did not answer it.

Another point. There were various moments, bread crumbs spread through the statement that suggested Kavanaugh does not think he’ll ever make it to the Supreme Court. And I think this assumption shaped his testimony. He looked like someone cuing up another career.

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