Deborah Solomon of the New York Times Magazine sat down with retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor ostensibly to talk about O'Connor's civics site for kids, Our Courts. But that's apparently way boring.
Solomon seemed slightly amazed that O'Connor is attempting at her advanced age to use the Internet (better that Solomon not find out O'Connor knows about Jon Stewart), then asked her to sell out a variety of Republicans from Tom Delay to Bill Frist to John McCain to George Bush to Harriet Miers. When asked about being considered too liberal for a Reagan nominee, O'Connor seemed to show her annoyance.
Look, that's your spiel, not mine.
Solomon didn't exactly take the hint, but she did move on to ask O'Connor about her husband — who is ill with Alzheimers — and his reported nursing-home girlfriend. O'Connor responded that, as Solomon surmised, she didn't mind that her terminally-ill husband was holding hands with terminally-ill women because they kept him company and brought him some happiness.
That established, Solomon returned to the questions about Republicans that O'Connor had gracefully tried to avoid. Asking her for whom she voted in the last election was, however, the last straw.
Come on, is this about my Web site?
And, since the interview was, indeed, supposed to be about O'Connor's work to help teachers and students get more educated on the third branch of our system of government, Solomon responded:
O.K., go ahead, put in a plug.
Uh, gee, thanks.
She then wanted to know if O'Connor considers herself a feminist. Despite having worked during her time in the Arizona legislature to overturn laws that discriminated against women, O'Connor refused to self-identify as a feminist, saying:
I care very much about women and their progress. I didn't go march in the streets...
Oh, now I'm sad.
Questions for Sandra Day O'Connor: Case Closed [New York Times Magazine, available online tomorrow]