Power Play

White House Uses Own Blog to Produce First Kagan 'Interview' on Nomination

The Obama administration started its roll-out of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan on a feel-good note, using the official White House blog to conduct and produce the first media "interview" on her nomination. 

The slickly edited video, posted Tuesday to the website, shows Kagan talking about her parents and growing up in New York City. She says she's "overjoyed and overwhelmed" to be chosen by President Obama, and spends the bulk of the softball video talking about her interest in the law and experience as solicitor general -- a job she calls a "most remarkable privilege." 

The package intersperses video of Kagan talking with pictures and courtroom sketches depicting the solicitor general arguing before the Supreme Court. 

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday that White House staff conducted the interview and that it was "similar to what we did with Judge (Sonia) Sotomayor." The White House blog was heavily used to promote pictures and information about Sotomayor last year. 

Asked whether Kagan would like to grant another interview to a media outlet, Gibbs replied: "She's not told me that, no." 

The PSA-tone of the Kagan interview belied the controversy over her nomination that was already brewing on Capitol Hill. Republican lawmakers have criticized her for a stand she took as Harvard Law School dean against military recruiters and for her lack of a judicial record. 

Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., on Tuesday went so far as to compare her to Harriet Miers -- whose 2005 nomination by President George W. Bush fell apart over questions about her experience. 

"Elena Kagan brings all of the experience to her candidacy that Harriet Miers brought to hers," Pence said. "It seems the Harriet Miers lessons were that the American people would prefer someone who had a record that could be examined." 

Kagan, in the White House interview, said she hopes people will see that she is open-minded, fair, has good judgment and "will faithfully apply the law."