Judge Sonia Sotomayor, pictured with Senator Harry Reid on Tuesday, began her effort to win the consent of the Senate with an elaborate ritual of greetings.
The ritual has started. Every senator that matters will be placated by a visit of the nominee, so that he, and in a few cases she, has a chance to speak before the cameras, appear senatorial, and have his, or her, favored curried.
The welcoming committee of photographers was gathered outside the Senate entrance of the Capitol. And inside, a small conference room belonging to the majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, was packed with reporters and television cameras — all in anticipation of a glimpse of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court, on her first visit kicking off a confirmation process that is arguably 11 years in the making.
Back then, Senate Republicans had resisted confirming Ms. Sotomayor to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, warning that it was a ticket to an eventual Supreme Court nomination. They were right.
Senators came and go, many stay, and the institutional memory remains: a decade ago some didn't like Judge Sotomayor, and now they have more reasons to not like her.