DES MOINES — The next president could appoint between one and three Supreme Court justices, as both Democrats and Republicans eagerly remind voters. But could one of the appointees be President Obama?
Asked that question Tuesday, Hillary Clinton appeared charmed by the prospect.
“Wow, what a great idea!” she told a man in Decorah, Iowa, at a town hall meeting. “Nobody has ever suggested that to me. Wow. I love that!”
She answered the question as if thinking out loud. First, she noted that Obama may have his own plans for his post-presidential life.
“I mean he’s brilliant, he can set forth an argument and he was a law professor,” she told the man, musingly. “So he’s got all the credentials, but we would have to get a Democratic Senate to get him confirmed.”
That last point is a window into Clinton’s thinking about the state of partisanship in Washington — particularly when it comes to views of Obama.
Generally, the Senate approves a president’s qualified Supreme Court picks, though not always without a fight. But Clinton’s answer suggests that she suspects that truism may not hold if the nominee were Obama.
Still, Clinton told the man: “I would take that under advisement.”
It’s also worth noting that Obama has already thrown cold water on the idea.
He told the New Yorker in a 2014 interview that he’s more interested in getting back to the real world.
“I love nutting out these problems, wrestling with these arguments. I love teaching. I miss the classroom and engaging with students,” Obama said. “But I think being a Justice is a little bit too monastic for me. Particularly after having spent six years and what will be eight years in this bubble, I think I need to get outside a little bit more.”