The White House may have been trying an end-around in its possible selection for the Supreme Court. It had been announced Wednesday that President Obama was “considering” Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval of Nevada as a possible nominee. Two Washington-insiders familiar with the process divulged the quirky news, according to The Washington Post. Thursday morning, Gov. Sandoval politely declined the possible nomination in this election 2016..
Why would liberal Barack Obama ever think of nominating a Republican of any kind? Lawmakers in Washington think it was a bold outreach to break the Senate GOP blockade of any choice Obama might make. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has made it crystal clear to the president that the 54-member GOP caucus is opposed to holding confirmation hearings or a vote for that matter.
Republicans have flatly stated they want to wait until a new president is elected to make any decision of this magnitude on a lifetime appointment. Meanwhile, Sandoval’s communication manager Mari St. Martin told the media Wednesday that the governor hasn’t been contacted by the White House prior to his Thursday announcement. She said, “Neither Gov. Sandoval nor his staff has been contacted by or talked to the Obama administration regarding any potential vetting for the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Ironically, the Nevada governor has met with Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid last Monday in Washington while he was in town for a meeting of the National Governors Association. Could that “chance meeting” have been a preliminary interview orchestrated by the White House with Reid being the sounding board for Sandoval’s feelings on the possibility?
There is, of course, politics involved with the failed Sandoval inquiry. The state’s first Hispanic governor was also the state’s first Hispanic federal judge. Sandoval, 52, supports abortion rights. That might ease any anxiety about nominating a Republican. The country will never know.
Furthermore, the governor’s two-term limitation expires in 2019. He already announced last year he will not seek Harry Reid’s senate seat. Most pollsters feel Sandoval would be the heavy odds-on favorite to win the seat. “My heart is here. My heart is in my job.” Is that a yes or a no?
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office is working with the White House for a preliminary meeting concerning the vacant Supreme Court seat. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the president is also hoping to meet with Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley of Iowa.