Washington (CNN) – Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan describes herself an "open minded person, a fair person" and pledges to "faithfully apply the law and do the best I can to decide it in the right way," in a new video posted Tuesday on the White House website.
The White House uses the video to offer another side about President Obama's choice to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens to the Court. Kagan talks about her childhood in New York, education at Harvard Law School, time as a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, dean of Harvard Law School, and her current role as solicitor general.
The video is narrated by the 50-year-old Kagan, and features still photographs of her during various different times in her life, and video from Monday's announcement of her nomination at the White House.
The Obama administration seems to be employing a time-honored tradition in political campaigns by releasing the video which attempts to define Kagan in a positive light before her opponents can do so. She speaks directly to the camera during the video and even jokes about her role as solicitor general that "nobody knows quite what that means, some people think it's the people who put the labels on cigarette packages, but, in fact, it's not. That's the surgeon general."
Obama emphasized in a video statement released Monday that her "understanding of the law, not as an intellectual exercise or words on a page, but as it affects the lives of ordinary people, has animated every step of Elena's career and it is the hallmark of her service as solicitor general today."
In turn, conservatives have started an alternative messaging campaign that portrays Kagan, in part, as an elite, who is out of touch with the lives of normal Americans.
"There is no doubt that Ms. Kagan possesses a first-rate intellect, but she is a surprising choice from a president who has emphasized the importance of understanding 'How the world works and how ordinary people live,'" Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said Monday in a statement released by his office. "Ms. Kagan has spent her entire professional career in Harvard Square, Hyde Park, and the DC Beltway. These are not places where one learns 'How ordinary people live.'"