Tag Archives: Psychology Today

Amusing Monday: Elena Kagan lightens up hearing

She may not be a stand-up comedian, but sitting before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Elena Kagan, the Supreme Court nominee, demonstrated a relaxed sense of humor that came across as breath of fresh air among the serious questioners.

When I saw the ABC News video of the hearing’s lighter moments (embedded here), I knew this would be this week’s “Amusing Monday” feature.

Gina Barreca, in her blog in “Psychology Today,” reviewed Kagan’s exchange with Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham, who caught the nominee launching into a long, legalistic response about the rights of the “Christmas Day bomber” when he had asked her a much simpler question.

In Barreca’s psychological analysis, Graham drawled in a weary tone, “I just asked where you were on Christmas.”

Barreca continues:

“That’s when I fell in love with Kagan’s laugh—it was a real laugh, not some tinkling-bell girly self-deprecating simulation of laugh, but a serious ‘You got me’ guffaw.

“But then she did what any smart broad would do: She refused to let his funny remark be at her expense. She was going to get the last laugh and therefore triumph.

“And triumph she did when she declared, matter-of-factly, ‘Like all Jews, I was probably at a Chinese restaurant.’”

Whether or not Barreca has over-analyzed the situation, perhaps we can all agree that humor indeed triumphed over a tedious Senate hearing. Is it possible that Kagan will bring a little more humor to the U.S. Supreme Court?