Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor kicked off her first round of Senator meetings on Tuesday morning, sitting down with Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) for an hourlong session in his Capitol office.
In a brief statement prior to the sit-down, Reid praised Sotomayor, who appeared comfortable in front of the cameras. Everyone in America, I want them to understand that we have the whole package here, Reid said. If that wasnt enough, her background is very significant we could not have anyone better qualified.
Sotomayor is making the rounds with a number of key Senators throughout the day as she looks to sell her nomination to the chamber. If confirmed, she would be the first Latina on the high court and the third female.
Reid also argued that Sotomayors life story she grew up in the Bronx to humble beginnings is that of the classic American underdog, and he praised her compelling story, a line that has become standard in Democratic talking points on her nomination.
I think your story is so compelling. Americans identify with the underdog, and youve been the underdog so many times in your life, Reid said.
Sotomayor was also scheduled to sit down on Tuesday with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz), Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), as well as committee members Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).
President Barack Obama has said hed like the Senate to approve Sotomayors nomination by Aug. 7, when the Senate leaves for its August recess. Republicans, however, have said they want to take their time in deliberating over the nominee, and they are pressing for a September vote. So far, one Republican Sen. Pat Roberts (Kan.) has come out against her nomination.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.