These last two days, Judge John G. Roberts has handled the verbal slings and arrows hurled by Senators like Schumer and Biden. He has adeptly avoided being pinned down to specific positions, while demonstrating a sharp intellect and a firm grasp of the law. But in this age of TV, Roberts may owe as much to his stlye as his substance. He looks confident, likeable, and friendly. The quality of his voice is good; he sounds honest and friendly.
Think all this is trivial? Studies show audiences are more likely to judge us based on how we look and sound, than on the words we actually use. This is not to diminish Roberts’ substance. Yes, we want a conservative. But (as we’ve learned in the past) it doesn’t hurt to have one who comes across well on TV, too.