Saturday, August 20, 2005

The lawyer is my shepherd

Fox News tells us about a “shepherd” who is working behind the scenes to guide John Roberts through the Supreme Court confirmation process and protect him from the wolves in the Senate.

Former Tennessee Republican Sen. Fred Thompson, who now plays District Attorney Arthur Branch on the hit series, "Law and Order," is the public face of President Bush and the nominee as he pushes the president's pick to replace Sandra Day O'Connor on the highest court of the land.

Thompson is being assisted by former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie. It is their job to guide Roberts through the often tenuous process that the administration hopes will lead to Roberts' installation on the bench.

"It's kind of a role that's been defined over the years by various people … it basically is to do what you're asked to do, by the White House, by the nominee, and it usually involves attending meetings with the nominees, briefing the nominee to who the senators are and their background

“See the large one with the red nose? That’s Kennedy. Try to refrain from using phrases such as ‘water under the bridge’ or ‘swimming against the tide’ when speaking to him. And that icy one in the red power-dress? That’s Hillary. Whatever you do, do not look her in the eye… You think I’m kidding, don’t you?”

As a former senator, Thompson is familiar with the ins-and-outs of Capitol Hill, is close with many senators who may be part of the firing squad set to pepper Roberts with questions, and he knows how to use political finesse when needed.

Thompson "absolutely" makes sense as an adviser, said Don Stewart, spokesman for Sen. John Cornyn (search), R-Texas, who is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. "You wouldn't put a baseball player into the football game — it wouldn't make sense."

Nah, just leave him in the dugout and let Roberts hit for himself. From all accounts the Judge can handle the bat quite well (I hear he pulls the ball to the right.)