June 3rd, 2009
03:40 PM ET
6 years ago

Sotomayor's whirlwind schedule takes a toll

WASHINGTON (CNN) - It's the second day of a whirlwind Capitol Hill tour - and it looks like Judge Sonia Sotomayor is already having trouble keeping Senate lineup straight.

Asked to lay out her Wednesday itinerary, President Obama's Supreme Court pick told reporters Wednesday she had met with "in the morning with Senators [Barbara] Mikulski, I just met with Senator [Barbara] Boxer..."

She got that schedule half right: the second name in that list should have been another Democrat, Patty Murray of Washington.

The judge got some sympathy from across the aisle. "Don't worry about it, I can't remember them all either..." said Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

An "embarrassed" Sotomayor explained that she'd "met with 20 senators in the last two days."

Graham said he could relate. "I can't remember which committees I'm on," he said. "They tell me I'm on six."

Sotomayor struggled to recall who she'd first met with Wednesday, stumping both herself and her aide, before remembering she'd met with Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, who she described as a "delight," earlier that morning.

"He's a nice fella," responded Graham. "I'll tell him he made a great impression on you."

It wasn't the only potential press conference landmine to face Sotomayor Wednesday. At a photo op with Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland earlier Wednesday, she was asked by CNN Radio's Bob Costantini about Newt Gingrich's retraction of the word "racist" to describe the judge.

Before Sotomayor could even think about responding, an aide leaned into her and whispered, "don't answer any questions."

Moments later, Mikulski blurted out: "We're not gonna have loose lips sink this ship."

–CNN's Dana Bash, Lisa Desjardins and Ted Barrett contributed to this report


Filed under: Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
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