My wife has a theory that Sotomayor might be to Obama's Supreme Court pick what Harriet Miers was to George W. Bush's Supreme Court pick.
Bush nominated Miers and retracted her nomination two weeks later at her request. You may recall that she was attacked on everything from her make-up to her staunch anti-abortion position. Whether it was her eye-liner, her views on abortion, or just the public meat-grinder that is the press, Miers requested that her name be withdrawn from consideration.
Yeah, look at those HIDEOUS eyes!
But Miers softened the path for Samuel Alito, who still faced three months of open scrutiny before his confirmation. Arguably, Alito was a better move for the conservative cause than Miers was.
Maybe Obama have put up Sotomayor knowing she would face strong scrutiny from Republicans and constitutionalist Democrats, knowing that if she isn't confirmed his alternative can always fall back on the excuse, "I'm not as bad as Sotomayor."
Then again, many of us thought there was no way Obama was serious when he named Biden as VP, and that turned out to be all-too real.