MY OPENING STATEMENT
WHEN I'M A SENATOR...
I was amused and irritated this morning during the Senate Judiciary Committee's "hearing" on Supreme Court Nominee Sonia Sotomayor.
Wisconsin Senators Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold are both members of the committee, so we were watching with interest in the newsroom today as the confirmation hearings got underway. Half listening to a long, rambling diatribe clearly coming from a male voice I said to my producer buddy Gary, "Who is that?"
"It's Senator So-and-So," he replied.
"Why's he talking," I asked.
"It's the Sotomayor hearing."
"I know," I quipped. "Why is he talking?"
It was opening statements, my friend told me. What the heck to we need opening statements for? Look, we barely need these hearings since everything is done on a party line vote these days. This is window dressing to begin with. It's already a shameless opportunity for Senators on both sides of the aisle to grand-stand, which is what they do best these days.
When I'm elected Senator, here's my opening statement:
CHAIRMAN: To the gentleman from Wisconsin. Mr. Vitrano.
SENATOR VITRANO: Thank you Mr./Madamme Chair. I know I'm new here, but I thought these proceedings were called "hearings." All due respect to my colleagues, I didn't come to hear any of you. I came to hear the nominee speak about his/her qualifications and answer our questions. I'll leave the posturing and pontificating to the Senate floor when we debate. Your honor, welcome. I yield the remainder of my time to the person to whom we're actually here to listen!