Wednesday, January 11, 2006

PR Mistake? 

The tough questioning of Judge Samuel Alito during day three of his nomination hearings apparently caused his wife to break down and cry. That could have been a serious mistake for the Democrats for it left them open to charges of being bullies -- charges made immediately by Alito's Republican supporters. On the other hand, had the Democratic senators not grilled Alito as sharply as they did, they would been left open to criticism from supporters who want to keep Alito out of office. In an odd sort of way, the tears of Martha-Ann Alito might serve as cover for the Democrats should Alito be approved, as is still expected. They can claim they did everything they could.

Public relations on Capitol Hill are normally weird, but this case is unusually so. It will be interesting to see the outcome and at this point, I wouldn't guess what the result will be.

I think most people will hear that his wife broke down and left and feel sorry for her. I would think even the left-wing financial backers of the Democrats, who this grilling was no doubt intended to please, might be a little queasy about having gone overboard.
I've watched a lot of the hearings and say the most memorable moment, without a doubt, was Mrs. Alito's. Most poignant was her breaking down while her husband was being praised, which seemed to reveal a deep love and repect for him.

Contrary to being a PR disastor for the Dems, it's a PR triumph for Alito. This message from the heart from Mrs. Alito will easily trump three days of dry and contrived questioning.

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