If congressional testimony over the U.S. Attorney firings were American Idol:
Alberto Gonzales = Sanjaya Malakar
D. Kyle Sampson = Blake Lewis
Monica Goodling = Jordin Sparks
Goodling is, far and away, the best Department of Justice witness to appear before Congress on the U.S. Attorney firings thus far. If one were to compare her performance to that of Kyle Sampson or Alberto Gonzales, we’d paraphrase what Simon Cowell said last night to Jordin Sparks: “You wiped the floor with him.”
BREAKING: Monica Goodling is paying her own legal bills — and will be establishing a legal defense fund. YAY!!!
More discussion — including a blow-by-blow account of the hearing, which is back underway — after the jump.
We didn’t post this comment ourselves. But we do agree with it, for the most part:
As an objective matter, Goodling did a good job this morning. She was perhaps too young to have as much responsibility as she did, but then again, who else would want to have handled some of the grunt work that she took on and executed without complaining? She’s helped by the House Democrats, who are incredibly weak, and the House Republicans, who are more willing than their Senate peers to defend the firings. Although, even if she continues to do well, this story won’t go away, those who gleefully looked forward to her testimony deepening the DOJ mess even further have to be disappointed, so far.
Goodling’s invocation of the Fifth Amendment privilege got her some bad publicity. But it also bought her more preparation time — which may have paid off, in terms of her excellent performance at these hearings.
2:15: Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) gets us going after the lunch break with some shovel beating over the attacks on Regent Law School. He points out their championship debate team — which bested Harvard, no less. Congratulations, RLSers!
Monica Goodling listens attentively as Forbes gives props to her alma mater, but without gloating. Her demeanor is excellent. At first we thought she looked a bit strung out; but she’s actually being attentive, yet restrained. She has been very well coached.
(Those fidgety and impatient-looking Supreme Court nominees — yes, Justice Alito, we’re talking to you — could learn a thing or two from Goodling.)
2:25: Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL) asks questions about who attended various meetings. We zoned out a bit. Did he ask anything important?
2:31: More haymaking over alleged anti-Christian bias, from Rep. Steve King (R-IA). We never thought we’d see the Republicans going on the offensive at these hearings.
2:32: Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) asks Goodling who is paying her legal bills. Goodling says that she’s footing them herself. And then she adds:
“I intend to establish a legal defense fund at some point.”
YAY!!! Monica, we will do everything we can to promote your fund. Once you have a website up, send us the link.
2:41: Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL):
Under very difficult circumstances, you have conducted yourself with a lot of class, a lot of dignity…. You have been a huge disappointment to people who were [looking to claim some kind of conspiracy]…. We are proud to have someone like you serving in government.
2:46: Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), whose wedding we wrote about here, is questioning Goodling. He asks her about the extent to which she took political activity into account when filling career posts at the Justice Department.
Goodling’s basic answer appears to be that (1) she hired for both political and career posts, and sometimes maybe the line blurred in her mind; (2) occasionally people would apply for both political and career posts simultaneously, in which case she might look at political activity in evaluating their applications; and (3) the career people she was hiring, especially the detailees, would be working in posts that were very close to or effectively political, alongside political appointees.
She also reveals, in response to a question, who told her she could consider these “other factors” when engaging in career hiring: D. Kyle Sampson…
2:54: Rep. Louie Gohmert (R – TX) warns his colleagues that talking trash about Regent Law and other Christian universities could result in them being charged as principals under pending hate crime legislation.
LOL. That may be the current frontrunner for Dumbest Remark of the Day.