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MSM Reaction to Alito Hearings:
With Tuesday's hearings over, we're getting the first of the big media insta-reactions to the Alito hearings. Based on my quick survey, most commentators seem to think Alito had a good day. Here are a few representative reactions:

  Over at the New York Times, Adam Liptak and Adam Nagourney think Alito is holding up well:
  If Senate Democrats had set out to portray Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. as extreme on issues ranging from abortion to government surveillance of citizens, they ran up against an elusive target on Tuesday: Samuel A. Alito Jr. For nearly eight hours, Judge Alito was placid, monochromatic and, it seemed, mostly untouchable.
At the Washington Post, Charles Lane focuses on how Alito presents himself as low-key and reassuring:
  On his first day of questioning from senators, Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr. tried to send a reassuring message: The country may be at war, but Americans' personal privacy and civil liberties will be safe with me.
  Under sharp questioning from Democrats and gentle prodding from Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, the federal appeals judge portrayed himself as a cautious, independent thinker who understands the judiciary's role as a check on presidents who overstep their constitutional authority.
At NPR & Slate, Dahlia Lithwick thinks Alito is succeeding by making the proceedings really really boring:
  There are, it seems, better and worse ways to game your Supreme Court confirmation hearings. John Roberts charmed his way through the proceedings. Sam Alito has chosen to simply bore his way through, and as a consequence, two days into the hearings, the Democrats on the judiciary committee have hardly laid a glove on him. I count only three occasions today on which he refuses to answer a question; that's not going to be his way. His way is to drill down and answer in lengthy doctrinal detail; to justify his past decisions with technical legal analysis; to expound upon three-part tests and legal factors to be balanced. He never tells you the answer to the question, but he's always expansive on how he might get there.
  There are some tangible benefits to this approach: For one thing, Alito has thus far generated not one flash of heat. There has been no clash, no argument, no losing of his temper. He is like a very, very smart rock. And this stoniness is slowly wearing down his opposition. . . . Alito is crushing the Democrats with unrelenting tedium and a demonstrable love for material they don't really understand.
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