Is the Dawn Johnsen nomination in trouble?

I’ve written extensively and critically about the nomination of Dawn Johnsen, but frankly without much hope that Johnsen would not be confirmed. But now, Marc Ambinder reports that the White House is worried about the Johnsen nomination.

According to Ambinder:

Vote counters believe that [Johnsen] is several votes shy of the 60 needed to avert a filibuster. Some Democrats, like Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) are almost certain to oppose the nod. The administration is quietly lobbying pro-choice Republicans — Maine’s two senators — and Sen. Arlen Specter, although Specter’s vote is unlikely given his political position, which is forcing him to the right. [note: imagine that, Specter is being “forced” as far to the “right” as Ben Nelson]

Ambinder contrives to portray Johnsen as a victim of “the culture wars,” as if her across-the-board left-wing activism — about which even Dianne Feinstein expressed concern — has nothing to do Johnsen’s problems. But, if true, the news in Ambinder’s one-sided story is good: (a) senior White House officials held a conference call on Thursday to discuss her nomination and (b) they are “not going to expend more than a certain amount of energy to see her through.”


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