Reed's New Role: Kagan Defender

President Obama's nomination of Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court has quickly become a political football in the run-up to a crucial fall election. Senate candidates from New Hampshire to Illinois are invoking her name. The GOP sees the upcoming Senate confirmation vote as a powerful reminder, to conservative voters, of the importance of Republican power in the chamber.

The conservative attack on Kagan has centered on her tenure as dean of Harvard Law School, when she supported a policy that barred military recruiters from campus in the face of a Pentagon ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military.

The Democratic defense is, of course, best delivered by someone with military credentials. Enter Reed, a former Army Ranger, quoted here in the New York Times:

“Her staunchest supporters are former military officers who are there at the Harvard Law School,” said Senator Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island, an Army veteran and West Point graduate who invited Ms. Kagan to speak at the military academy. “She just wowed them.”

This is, in a way, a reprise: Reed was also tapped to formally introduce Kagan when she was nominated as solicitor general. A Supreme Court nomination, of course, is a bit higher profile.

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