It’s been almost two weeks now, and the talk of who Obama may appoint to replace Justice Antonin Scalia has already been pushed off the front pages. The White House rather brilliantly trolled the GOP this week with rumors that it was vetting GOP Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval. Republicans dutifully refused to consider his nomination and scurried back into their dark corners. Sandoval removed his name from consideration. And incensed conservative commenters scolded Obama for playing games, as if they hadn’t been insisting for two weeks that they were going to pick up their football and go home.
There are a few lessons to be drawn from the Sandoval trial balloon: First, there is no point in Obama picking a conservative or even a so-called “consensus” candidate. Obama pretty clearly couldn’t get a vote if he nominated Eugene Scalia, the former justice’s son….
Who does that leave? Someone who will mobilize and energize Democrats and inspire centrists and moderates….
I’m thinking of big political names: Deval Patrick, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Loretta Lynch. I’m thinking of huge public reputations that will go undisturbed by a fight in the media….