by Pejman Yousefzadeh on May 12, 2010


Either this is a poor attempt at a joke, or Elena Kagan gets confused if the word “general” gets thrown into a job title:

In the interview, conducted by a White House staffer who produces videos for the administration, Kagan discusses her childhood, parents and professional career. At one point she jokes that people get confused between her job as solicitor general arguing cases before the Supreme Court and the attorney general, who puts “the labels on the cigarette packages.”

I didn’t know that the “attorney general” puts “labels on the cigarette packages.” I rather doubt he/she does. I know that the Surgeon General issues a warning about smoking that appears on cigarette packages. This isn’t the end of the world, but just imagine the reaction if a Republican made this kind of mental slipup.

Just as unfunny, of course, is the fact that when members of the actual White House press corps asked if they could conduct an interview with the new nominee, they were told that Kagan would not be available. Apparently, she only has time to take softball questions tossed her way by White House staffers.

But of course, as we all know, Elena Kagan–who once said that the confirmation process was “vapid and hollow” because nominees do their level best to ensure that they don’t actually answer any questions, is now saying that she will try to keep the confirmation process “vapid and hollow” by ensuring that she won’t actually answer any questions. I feel for the White House press corps, which rightfully is “frustrated” that it cannot interview Kagan in the same way that White House staffers can, but it really shouldn’t be surprised; this Administration’s promises concerning transparency were never as sincere as many people were led to believe that they would be.

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