Question to the panel from Norah O’Donnell, standing in for Chris Matthews on yesterday’s Chris Matthews Show:

Bottom line, would you say that Elena Kagan will be a standout in President Obama’s legacy or a mere footnote?

While most of the roundtablers didn’t blink at being asked to weigh in on a yet-to-be-confirmed Supreme Court nominee’s effect on the legacy of a sixteen-months-into-the-job president, one Chris Matthews regular seemed to have some kind of crystal ball malfunction:

Katty Kay, BBC News Washington Correspondent: I think she has a chance of being a standout, a chance of doing that.


Pete Williams, NBC News Justice Correspondent: In terms of his presidency, yes, this will stand out. Third woman on the Supreme Court.

Joan Biskupic, USA Today Supreme Court Correspondent: Ditto. He will be here eight years tops and she will be here for maybe four decades.

Andrew Sullivan, Atlantic Senior Editor: I have no idea.


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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.