Graham's Performance

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), so far, has offered the most entertaining and, perhaps, notable, opening remarks of the Sonia Sotomayor confirmation hearing, telling Sotomayor that no Republican would have picked her--and that she's going to pass barring a "meltdown."

Graham opened his remarks by looking Sotomayor in the eye and telling her, "No Republican would have picked you."

"Now unless you have a complete meltdown, you're gonna get confirmed, and I don't think you will, but the drama that's being created here is interesting," he said, drawing some laughter from the audience.

Graham, as one of the party's best debaters and a frequent guest on cable news and major-network Sunday talk shows, offered a prospect for some entertaining grandstanding. He had previously told McClatchy that "I honestly think I could vote for" Sotomayor.

He said repeatedly at today's hearing that he doesn't know how he'll vote on Sotomayor's nomination. In explaining his thought process on the matter, he echoed a point that Sotomayor's backers have made: President Obama won the 2008 election, and elections matter.

"We lost, and President Obama won, and that oughtta matter," Graham said.

"I dont' know how I'm gonna vote, but my inclination is that elections matter," Graham reiterated near the end of his remarks. "And I'm not gonna be upset with any of my colleagues who find that you're a bridge too far."

"But President Obama won the election, and I will respesct that," Graham said.