On Friday night's edition of Inside Washington, NPR legal reporter Nina Totenberg twice used the term "spectacularly successful" to define Obama Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. Host Gordon Peterson asked her what "we" know so far:
We know she was a spectacularly successful dean at Harvard Law School where she was the first female dean -- that she just moved the place, got it really moving again. Students loved her. She knocked heads on the faculty to get hires done. She was a spectacularly successful policy bureaucrat in the Clinton White House.
And what you see right now is a spectacular demonstration of hypocrisy where Republicans who loved the fact that Harriet Miers didn't have judicial experience, because that was kind of needed on the Supreme Court , now they say it's a serious deficit. And Democrats, who used to want to know about someone's ideology, now say 'oh, it's improper to ask.'
Totenberg doesn't find it a "spectacular demonstration of hypocrisy" to praise the degree of merit or "spectacular successfulness" of Supreme Court nominees based on how liberal (or female) they are.