President Obama's choice to replace David Souter on the Supreme Court will be a pragmatist unafraid to challenge conventional wisdom, insiders tell the Washington Post. While Obama will not play it safe, they say, neither does he want a provocative choice that will create another partisan confirmation battle. "He's less eager to send a message than to send a great justice," explained senior adviser David Axelrod.
Axelrod emphasizes that those being vetted are all very different, but observers remain convinced Obama is nearly certain to pick a woman. A source said Obama has narrowed his list to six, and those believed to be the most serious contenders are Judge Sonia Sotomayor, Judge Diane Wood, Solicitor General Elena Kagan, and Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm. But "not all the names that are being talked about are out there," Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel cautions.