Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Did Obama's Solicitor General Choke?

Or was his performance before the Supreme just the inevitable consequence of attempting to defend the indefensible?
He was passive. He was stumbling. He was nervous," CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin told POLITICO. "I was just shocked.”

His halting delivery was so pronounced that BuzzFeed mercilessly edited together 40 seconds of coughing, throat clearing and water-drinking.

"I've seen him argue under pressure," said Arnold and Porter's Lisa Blatt, a former assistant to the solicitor general who's argued 30 cases before the Supreme Court. Blatt, who listened to audio of the argument, said, "That's not the way he usually sounds."

Blatt said she was primarily surprised that Verrilli "didn't seem that excited to be up there." Given that this is one of the biggest cases in modern history, she said, "I would think it would be a blast to be up there."

Barack Obama is defending Verrilli.
The White House is coming to the defense of Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, whose efforts to defend the president’s health care law Tuesday are under attack as a “train wreck” and “The Worst Supreme Court Argument of All Time.”

“Mr. Verrilli is an extraordinarily talented advocate who possesses a sharp mind, keen judgment, and unquestionable integrity,” White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler said in a statement provided to POLITICO Wednesday morning. “He ably and skillfully represented the United States before the Supreme Court yesterday, and we have every confidence that he will continue to do so.”
Well, as I've said before, these are the very same people who believed that Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was the best choice as spokesperson for the Democratic Party.


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