While the pundits heaped praise on Christine Blasey Ford’s composed Capitol Hill appearance, President Trump saved his kudos for defiant Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
“Judge Kavanaugh showed America exactly why I nominated him,” Trump crowed on Twitter Thursday evening after Kavanaugh snarled, sighed and sobbed his way through his emotional testimony.
“His testimony was powerful, honest, and riveting. Democrats’ search and destroy strategy is disgraceful and this process has been a total sham and effort to delay, obstruct, and resist.”
The Washington Post reported that Trump, “riveted” inside the White House by the daylong televised hearings, admired his pick’s immediate defiance in the face of his Democratic inquisitors.
Accuser Ford earned her own admiration from network television commentators after offering her recollections of what she described as a sexual assault by a drunken Kavanaugh more than 30 years ago.
“This was a disaster for the Republicans,” said Fox News host Chris Wallace after the first break in Ford’s testimony during the daytime drama airing from coast to coast. “I don’t think we can disregard Christine Blasey Ford and the seriousness of this. I think that would be a big mistake.”
ABC newsman Dan Abrams echoed Wallace’s remark, calling the Ford appearance an “unmitigated disaster” for the Republicans in a he said/she said case broken down mostly along party lines.
The lingering line from Ford’s testimony invoked the sound of Kavanaugh and a friend laughing in glee at her plight.
“The more hesitant, the more fragile she seemed, the more credible and powerful she seemed,” said fellow Fox commentator Brit Hume — perhaps a bit of bad news for the President from his favorite TV network.
But he was just as impressed by the tirade unleashed by Kavanaugh before things turned a bit maudlin during his lengthy opening statement.
“I don’t think it diminishes his credibility one bit,” Hume said of Kavanaugh’s combative comments. “I think it enhances his credibility.”
NBC News reported that self-proclaimed tough guy Trump had no problems with Kavanaugh’s tears, believing the emotion appropriate given the situation.
NBC “Today” show host and legal analyst Megyn Kelly said Ford’s version of the events would not play well with a jury, regardless of what happens with the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“The Democrats should be happy that this is not a trial because if it were, she would likely lose,” said Kelly. “He would be afforded the presumption of innocence and she would have to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.”
CNN’s Gloria Borger opined that both witnesses came off well despite the obvious stress of the hearings and the sometimes pointed questions of the senators.
“Just as you could feel emotional with her,” said Borger, “you could feel emotional with him.”
Ford’s testimony resonated in the city.
“It’s right that she testified,” said Galyna Bahan, 41, of Brooklyn. “We have to erase the stereotype. There’s this stereotype that women are weaker. We have to protect ourselves.”
Feliciano Ramirez, 29, of Manhattan, echoed that sentiment.
“He doesn’t deserve to be in a high-rank post,” Ramirez said of Kavanaugh. “I think it’s brave of her to come out. It’s not easy telling the world about her situation. Maybe it just took time for her to heal in order for her to express herself in public.”