First Read did some digging and came up with the following names:
- Diane Wood – 7th Circuit
- Merrick Garland – DC Circuit Court of Appeals
- Sonia Sotomayor – 2nd Circuit
- Elena Kagan – Solicitor General
- Jennifer Granholm – Michigan Governor
- Janet Napolitano – Homeland Security Secretary
So who’s realistic?
Well, I think you can count out Sotomayor, Garland and Granholm. The first because there’s been too much negative buzz about her in Dem circles, the second because he’s a man and the third because Granholm isn’t a natural born American citizen and she’s too political.
That leaves Napolitano, Kagan and Wood.
First Read has an idea of who could be the frontrunner…
Keep an eye on Napolitano. For this pick, it would be surprising if Obama named someone he didn’t either know well or trust personally. Wood, Kagan, and Napolitano all fit this bill (Wood taught at the University of Chicago with Obama, and Kagan and Napolitano already have top slots in the administration). As for Napolitano, remember that she endorsed Obama early on (despite Emily’s List pressure to do otherwise). And from people familiar with the president’s thinking, he’s been as impressed with Napolitano as anyone in his cabinet. They click. That matters…”
Personally, I think Napolitano won’t be picked because vacating the Homeland Security spot would give Republicans a very easy way to criticize Obama on national defense.
So my bet is on Kagan because of her background at Harvard law and her affiliation with the University of Chicago. Also, the administration has been hinting that this person would come from a non-traditional avenue, and while that might be a head fake, I think it would rule out Wood.
What do you think?