Saturday, July 23, 2005

John Roberts: Portrait of a Stealth Nominee as a Young Man 

As Atrios says, Roberts is a "made man":

Roberts' writings stored at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library [from when Roberts was an assistant to then Solicitor General, Ken Starr] give a sense of a partisan eager to defend the president and keep lawmakers and bureaucrats in line.
(via WaPo)

But the (really idiotic) headline—"Roberts' White House Papers Show Sly Wit"—is just wrong; we also see a young man determined, even then, to leave no paper trail. At least in the counsel we have from Roberts (not all is yet availabe) he seems very concerned with brushing over the traces. Very carefully:

[ROBERTS] "There should be little press interest" ... "Those denials were, and continue to be, particularly controversial and there is no need to mention them" ... "Once you let the word out there's a blacklist, everybody wants to get on." [That sly Republican wit! Especially picquant considerding Nixon's enemies list and the McCarthy era!] ... [I]t is probably best simply to acknowledge receipt of his speech," Roberts told Fielding, "and tell him you look forward to reading it."

See what I mean? Of course, there are many papers that have not yet been processed by the archives. Naturally, with a candidate whose record is as thin—and whose commmentary is so deliberately elusive—there will be lots of questions to ask...

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