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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

I Agree with Bumiller!

Only saw a bit of the hearing today around lunchtime, but I noticed that Biden was terribly long-winded and didn't ask much in the way of questions:

The highest ratio of words per panelist to words per nominee was that of Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., Democrat of Delaware, who managed to ask five questions in his 30-minute time allotment.

"I understand, Judge, I am the only one standing between you and lunch, so I'll try to make this painless," he began, with some promise.

Mr. Biden then dived into a soliloquy on Judge Alito's failure to recuse himself from cases involving the Vanguard mutual fund company, which managed the judge's investments. After 2 minutes 50 seconds - short for the senator - Mr. Biden did appear to veer toward a question, but abandoned it to cite Judge Alito's membership in a conservative Princeton alumni group. Mr. Biden discoursed on that for a moment, then interrupted himself with an aside about his son who "ended up going to that other university, the University of Pennsylvania."

Judge Alito, who had been sitting without expression through Mr. Biden's musings, interrupted the senator midword, got out three sentences, then settled in for nearly 26 minutes more of Mr. Biden, with the senator doing most of the talking. With less than a minute to spare, Mr. Biden concluded, thanked Judge Alito for "being responsive," then said to Mr. Specter that "I want to note that for maybe the first time in history, Biden is 40 seconds under his time."

Didn't they all get to do their opening statements yesterday? (I didn't see any of that.) They really should be asking Alito some questions when they get the chance.