DAMAGE CONTROL

White House Backtracks on Sonia

Is Obama’s hindsight 20/20—even on someone else’s behalf? Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor was under heavy media fire this week for a comment she made in 2001 saying a female Hispanic judge would reach a better decision than a white male judge. "I'm sure she would have restated it," President Obama told NBC News, without any further remarks. At a press conference earlier in the day, spokesman Robert Gibbs said, "I think she'd say that her word choice in 2001 was poor." Gibbs said that while he did not talk to her directly, he learned that from people who spoke to her. Critics are latching on to the quote, given a Berkeley lecture titled “A Latina Judge’s Voice” that stated in full: “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life.”