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.They become symbols for values and groups.6Explicit story making is a fairly new tactic and has emergedbecause the White House had created a vacuum that allowed oth-ers to define the nominee.Robert Bork was not made appealing tothe public by the Reagan administration.In fact, Bork was almostdemonized by opposition interest groups and some press articles.Forexample, a Time magazine cover story showed Bork dressed in blackwith the headline  Bork: How a young socialist became a conservativeand one of history s most controversial Supreme Court nominees.Within the story, one photograph displayed a young Bork holdinga snake with the caption  his intellectual odyssey  departs from theconventional.  7 134 electing justiceBork s experience was ironic, given the Reagan White House sprevious success with the president s own image.In fairness, Bork wascommitted to the notion that the confirmation process was primarilyan intellectual exercise, and he may not have cooperated, as much aswas necessary, in White House image-making efforts.Nevertheless,when opposition mounted, there was no reservoir of public goodwill,no public acceptance of Bork as a person that offered a benefit of thedoubt to the nominee.The Reagan administration and Judge Robert Bork made the mis-take of allowing opposing groups and the press to define the nomi-nee s story.Rather than the image of a thoughtful conservative aca-demic and jurist, as the White House expected him to be portrayednaturally, Bork became a wild-eyed radical who lacked understandingof the real world and the effects of his legal views on everyday people.His public persona fed the story.His unshaped beard and frizzy hair,coupled with an academic s approach to senators questions, confirmedthe veracity of the image others assigned him.Subsequent White House image makers learned important lessonsfrom the Bork defeat.When President George H.W.Bush nominatedNew Hampshire federal judge David Souter to replace Justice WilliamBrennan, the White House quickly portrayed Souter as a stereotypi-cal New Englander with old-fashioned American values.The processwas repeated the next year when Clarence Thomas was nominated tosucceed Justice Thurgood Marshall.Thomas became the embodimentof the American dream of the poor African American child who growsup to attend Yale, serve in positions in the executive branch, and takean appointment on the U.S.Supreme Court.The  story nominations have included Antonin Scalia (firstItalian American), Clarence Thomas (second African American andembodiment of rags to riches and specifically the success of effortsto assist African Americans out of poverty), and Ruth Bader Gins-burg (second woman and a long-time advocate for women s rights).All of these individuals achieved confirmation and, in the case ofThomas, even received public support against strong opposition toconfirmation. today s nomination process 135Other nominees have not had a strong  story, and then imagemaking becomes more problematic for the White House.These are stealth nominees who lack a story, yet they also lack definablerecords that would engender opposition.Recent  stealth nomineesinclude Anthony Kennedy and David Souter.One exception was Stephen Breyer.Breyer was not a stealth can-didate because he was well known in the judicial community, with along record of judicial behavior.However, he lacked the compellinglife drama other  story nominees possessed.Hence, he attempted tocreate a story of real-world exposure by relating his ditchdigger expe-rience, thus reassuring the public he was a man who understood theproblems of ordinary people.But the moderate Breyer s reservoir ofbipartisan support within the Judiciary Committee may have over-come the lack of story or stealth.Unlike Breyer, nominees who lack the  story and whose views ona range of issues are widely known, such as Robert Bork and WilliamRehnquist, typically face challenges in winning confirmation [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]