Art imitates life, and sometimes it forecasts it. As reported in our story today, Christopher Buckley's latest satirical novel Supreme Courtship is due out this week, and it tackles the absurdity of the Supreme Court nomination and confirmation process. One of the main characters is one Sen. Dexter Mitchell of Connecticut, who chairs the Judiciary Committee. In an interview last week, before any real-life vice-presidential candidates were picked, author Buckley confirmed that his model for the character was Sen. Joe Biden, (D-Del.) who served the same role during the confirmation hearings of Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas, among others. Throughout the book, Buckley riffs on Biden's... make that Mitchell's... gift for gab and not insignificant ego.
Early in the book Buckley writes, "For all his qualifications, Dexter somehow added up to less than the sum of his considerable parts. His epic loquacity was not an asset. Successive campaign advisers had tried without success to get him to give briefer answers, but nothing had stemmed the logorrheic tide, the tsunami of subordinate clauses and parenthetical asides, the inexorable mudslide of anecdotage. His campaign 'listening tours' were occasions of mirth among political reporters, since it was the people he met who did the listening." We won't spoil it for you, but yes, in the book Mitchell also has presidential ambitions, and he does some amazing things to get to the White House. And yes, he commutes to and from home by rail, just like Biden. Buckley even gives him a dog named Amtrak.