I predicted that at the Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings of Sonia Sotomayor, the Senators would vogue for the cameras longer than a French waif on a fashion runway. I was certainly proved correct on Day 4 ( as I was on Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3).
While absolutely refusing to give up the microphone long enough to allow us to learn anything important about the nominee, on Day 4 the rambling Senators out-spoke her 21,188 words to 9,304 words.
One exception was Senator Al Franken. Perhaps foreshadowing the rest of his Senate career, he committed an act of Senatorial negligence by practically giving up his chance to ask the judge any questions at all, in what was the shortest exchange of the hearings. Perhaps Senator Franken just didn't understand the importance of holding a seat on the committee, and the concomitant responsibility that comes with it to make the nominee talk.
Here is the roundup of words spoken during each Senator's examination of Judge Sotomayor on Day 4:*
Kyl: 2139 Sotomayor: 1288
Feinstein: 708 Sotomayor: 489
Graham: 2068 Sotomayor: 789
Klobuchar: 1105 Sotomayor: 737
Cornyn: 1528 Sotomayor: 1200
Specter: 1824 Sotomayor: 746
Coburn: 2096 Sotomayor: 924
Franken: 278 Sotomayor: 425
Sessions: 1355 Sotomayor: 105
Hatch: 1009 Sotomayor: 297
Grassley: 499 Sotomayor: 500
Kyl: 1065 Sotomayor: 569
Graham: 1377 Sotomayor: 108
Cornyn: 558 Sotomayor: 691
Coburn: 837 Sotomayor: 324
Leahy: 518 Sotomayor: 75
Sessions: 431 Sotomayor: 36
*Senators Leahy and Sessions spoke outside the examination process as well.
After Judge Sotomayor finished testifying, a number of witnesses were called on Day 4. Interestingly, in that one shortened day the Senators and the witnesses managed to speak more than 54,000 words, over 5,000 more words than the Senators allowed Sotomayor to speak over her 4 days of testimony.
Here is the final 4-day total of words spoken just during the examinations of Judge Sotomayor:
Senators: 95,592 (66%)
Sotomayor: 49,176 (34%)
So the Senators held a hearing, the purpose of which was to find out as much as we could about Sonia Sotomayor, and we ended up listening to the Senators speak 2/3rds of the time instead of her.
Smile for the camera's, voguing Senators. Maybe you can go on tour with Madonna.
A very HUGE tip of the hat goes to Andrew Malcolm of the Los Angeles Times "Top of the Ticket" blog, who was kind enough to supply me and the rest of the world the transcripts of the Sotomayor hearings each day.