Following up on yesterday's article about the lack of coordination and coherency from Kagan opponents, and potential opponents, in their media messaging, this afternoon I conducted a quick survey of Google News keywords to see what narratives were sticking on Kagan. I don't claim this to be a scientific survey, but hopefully it still provides some insight into where the fight to define her currently stands.
Overall, since Sunday, there have been 16,360 stories on Google News ith the exact phrase "Elena Kagan. Here is how often the following possible memes on Kagan were found in news stories that contained her name:
The good news for the White House is that no single meme is very dominant. Even "liberal," the most common term I could find, fails to appear in even 20% of articles on Kagan. As such, my main speculation from these numbers is that there really is no narrative developing on Kagan at all.
The less positive news for the White House is that even though there is no dominant narrative, two of the two most common mini-narratives appear to be over her lack of experience as a judge, and that she might be a lesbian. With positive memes, such her intelligence, not receiving much play, this nomination process could end up taking an unexpected direction.
Might this fight end up being, somehow, over whether or not Kagan is a homosexual, whether or not that is OK, and whether or not she hid this from the public? At this stage, that seems entirely possible to me. Not much else is sticking to her right now, and that certainly seems like the type of storyline that could take off in a way that virtually nothing else listed here could (with the possible exception of the military recruiters on campus story). If this does happen, don't be shocked.