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Napolitano turns food critic to duck Supreme Court question

By Dave Cook / May 19, 2009



Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano played food critic when she was asked Tuesday morning about her appearance on a short list of candidates to replace Supreme Court Justice David Souter.

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"What is it like to be on the short list?" New York Daily News correspondent James Meek asked Napolitano at a Monitor-sponsored breakfast for reporters.

"These are really good eggs. That is all I am saying," the Secretary responded. And, true to her word, the Secretary managed to polish off her breakfast while responding to questions from the 35 reporters who attended the session.

Making the short list

The DHS chief was the only member of the Obama cabinet on the list of serious court candidates which was leaked to the Associated Press last week. The list also includes Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, Solicitor General Elena Kagan, and U.S. Appeals Court Judges Sonia Sotomayor and Diane Wood, among others.

Secretary Napolitano has not served as a judge. But she attended the University of Virginia Law School, clerked for a circuit court of appeals judge, and served as Attorney General of Arizona before twice being elected the state's governor.

Seeking kind graders

The Secretary went out of her way to avoid anything that could look like self-promotion while President Obama is deciding on his high court nominee. When asked how she would grade her performance so far at DHS, Napolitano responded, "I don't grade myself. I was asked as Governor to grade myself. I said look, I don't grade myself. So I will let you all do that, just be kind."