I've heard various views on this, including that Trump was underwhelmed with Judge Amy when he interviewed her last time. Still, I believe there's truth in the conventional wisdom. Barrett may be the right nominee at the right moment. And it's not just that she'd be replacing a woman. Trump needs a nominee with the intestinal fortitude to go through a brutal process. Barrett went through that during her last confirmation and appeared to show that she has what it may take. Beyond that, her persona should resonate throughout the land. The usual vicious Dem rhetoric will backfire in the face of what seems to be Barrett's sheer normality.
There's a good overview of who Barrett is at the American Spectator this morning:
President Trump has the right nominee at the right moment in American history.
The article starts off with a fairly long section on Ginsburg's arrogant miscalculation that she could go out in a blaze of glory under a President Hillary. Then after a bit on the political dynamics of the moment, the author gets into the specifics on Why Amy.
Amy Barrett is neither East Coast nor West Coast. She grew up outside of New Orleans, attended elementary and middle school at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School in the middle-class suburb of Metairie, St. Mary’s Dominican High School in the city, graduating in 1990, and then Rhodes College in Memphis. Barrett obtained her law degree from Notre Dame, then after a pair of clerkships for distinguished jurists Lawrence Silberman and Antonin Scalia and a couple of stints at well-respected private law firms, became a law professor at Notre Dame for several years before her nomination to the 7th Circuit in 2017.
Barrett’s confirmation to the 7th Circuit was a disaster for the Left. It included the famous gaffe by California’s Dianne Feinstein in which the latter essentially attempted to disqualify Barrett for having deeply held Catholic beliefs, as though that made her akin to a cult member. “The dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern when you come to big issues that people have fought for for years in this country,” Feinstein told Barrett during the confirmation hearings, in a moment most Democrats would like to forget.
It was an excellent performance, one which put Barrett on the map as a potential Supreme Court justice, and Barrett’s demeanor and poise in handling Feinstein’s rather obnoxious assault was eye-opening in a positive way. ..., it became quite clear that Amy Barrett is not someone the Democrats can beat down in a confirmation hearing.
Presenting Amy Barrett to the Senate for Supreme Court confirmation would tee up yet another potential disaster for the Democrats just like her confirmation for the 7th Circuit was, and it would do so when virtually every American is watching intently.
She’s young, in her late 40’s. She’s a mother of seven, including two adopted children from Haiti, she lives a middle-class lifestyle (her husband Jesse Barrett is a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s office in Chicago), she’s attractive, she’s exceptionally well-spoken and an excellent, compelling speaker on the law and the Constitution.
She also boasts an outstanding perspective, as a mother of seven who’s been a lawyer, a law professor, and a federal appellate judge, on the question of how women might balance a career and a family. ... That’s a healthy viewpoint the majority of American women, and particularly middle-class or upper-middle-class women in the suburbs, will find wisdom in.
The author finishes with some perspectives on the prospects for Barrett's confirmation. That includes some interesting ideas on possibly prying away a couple of Dems. Really. And that's part of how Barrett's normality could come into play.
Trump likes to surprise, but this seems like a reasonable guess.
UPDATE 1: Reports are that Trump spoke with Cocaine Mitch today and that the choice is narrowed to Amy Barrett or Barbara Lagoa from Florida. I don't know much about Lagoa, a Cuban American, but she gets very high marks from conservatives in Florida. She also has a tremendous amount of experience.
One indication of her views comes from the preface to a series of questions that Dianne Feinstein presented during Lagoa's confirmation hearing when Lagoa was appointed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Feinstein said:
When you were appointed to the Florida Supreme Court in January 2019, the president of the Florida Family Policy Council issued a statement praising your judicial appointment as a “home run” and describing you as having “a conservative judicial philosophy that appreciates the limited role of the court.” According to its website, the Florida Family Policy Council is a state-based policy council that has, among other things, organized a statewide campaign to defund Planned Parenthood, and encouraged attendance at “pro-life events” that are “mourning Roe v. Wade,” with the assertion, “We are winning this battle but the pro-life abolitionist movement needs your help and support.”
UPDATE 2: should have pointed out what's pretty obvious. Florida is a hugely important state in presidential elections. Trump is courting Hispanics nationwide, not just in Florida, and making headway. A Lagoa nomination would seem to really put the Dems in a box.
UPDATE 3: Politico is claiming that Lagoa is at the top of the list.