The White House is knocking down rumors racing across Washington today that President Obama has decided on Solicitor General Elena Kagan as the next nominee to the Supreme Court, and that he'll announce it on Monday. "Pure speculation," a White House official told BLT this morning, adding that no decision has been made.
The proximate cause of all the speculation is Mike Allen's widely read Playbook on Politico, which said this morning to "look for" both things -- Kagan and Monday -- to be true, though Allen adds, "The pick isn't official, but top White House aides will be shocked if it's otherwise." Allen even predicted how the news would come out -- via a leak to the Associated Press on Sunday.
In spite of Allen's hedging, advocacy groups this morning have been offering to be quoted on Kagan's nomination as if it's a done deal. It began to seem possible that even if Allen is correct -- which may still be the case -- the announcement could be moved up to today to keep things from spiraling out of control. The latest yellow-light signal from the White House may slow down that speculation, at least for awhile.