It looks like the Obama administration is ready to move on a Supreme Court nominee as early as this week as part of a coordinated campaign effort for Democrats in the Senate.
As soon as President Barack Obama announces a Supreme Court nominee from his short list — which is now set — the White House and its allies will unleash a coordinated media and political blitz aimed at weakening GOP resistance to confirming the president's pick.
Administration allies have already started putting a ground game in place. Obama campaign veterans have been contracted in six states — New Hampshire, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, where GOP incumbents are most vulnerable, plus Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley's Iowa.
With Republicans flatly refusing even courtesy meetings with a nominee, let alone confirmation hearings, they’re also looking into photo ops with Senate Democrats, and could pursue mock hearings or other events meant to highlight GOP intransigence, according to sources familiar with the planning.
Still, the West Wing is trying to strike a balance between pushing the nominee forward to create pressure and the danger of seeming to politicize the fight or accidentally straying into hypothetical discussions of future court decisions.
Obama is expected to announce a nominee as early as this week. Many believe that the choice will be one of three federal appeals court judges: Sri Srinivasan, Merrick Garland or Paul Watford.
I heartily approve of this. President Obama is playing to win here and he knows the issue is Senate control by the GOP. He's operating under the assumption that the GOP will fold as they have time and again, and he's doing so by going on offense.
I've had my doubts that President Obama could actually accomplish anything here, and this still may not work out, but it won't be for lack of trying. If it's a fight the GOP wants, it's a fight they will get.
Vox has a good rundown of the potential nominees here.