You’d think that with Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell always being in beast mode on confirming President Trump’s judicial nominees that there’s no way he could possibly up his A-game.
But he has.
In a little over a week’s time, he corralled Sen. Mitt Romney on moving forward to consider Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination. He might have won over Sen. Lisa Murkowski, too. He’s dunked Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer all over the place by using his own words against him, and even managed to earn the begrudging respect of a couple of liberally biased journalists.
And before Judge Barrett prepared to meet with Senators today, McConnell again demonstrated his mastery of the process – this time not in words, but in actions.
During an introductory press gaggle with Barrett, Vice President Pence, and others, McConnell was asked if Barrett should recuse herself should any 2020 election cases come before the Supreme Court. His facial expressions remained neutral as you heard people around the group begin to usher the press out of the room.
But the question that was asked immediately after that did appear to get a reaction out of him, and one that you’d have missed if you blinked. McConnell was asked if he planned on trying to have Barrett confirmed before the election.
See if you can catch what he did — it’s almost right at the end of the video:
MOMENTS AGO: Sen. Mitch McConnell does not answer when asked: "If Judge Barrett is confirmed, should she recuse herself from any election-related cases?" pic.twitter.com/tPxOXkQlWV
— The Hill (@thehill) September 29, 2020
It was hard to see in that clip, but CBS News reporter Alan He caught what McConnell did — and made note of it by zooming in a bit on his face:
CBS @nancycordes: "Leader McConnell, if Judge Coney Barrett is confirmed should she recuse herself from any election related cases?"
MCCONNELL: no reax
@nancycordes: "Do you intend to try to confirm her before the election?"
MCCONNELL: (looks at camera with a slight grin?) pic.twitter.com/2GjYjdUjfh
— Alan He (@alanhe) September 29, 2020
At around the :14 mark, you can see the slight, barely suppressed trademark McConnell grin:
It’s like he’s saying “Wouldn’t YOU like to know?”
As to when McConnell would try to have the Senate vote on her confirmation, it’s entirely possible he could do so before the election considering Sen. Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham has already announced that the confirmation hearings will start in two weeks (October 12th).
Author: Sister Toldjah