The man whose name became a verb -- for how to trash and defeat a Supreme Court nominee -- has some simple advice for Sonia Sotomayor.
"Don't lose your temper," Robert Bork says in an interview airing tonight on CNN.
"If she just maintains an even emotional temper, she'll be confirmed easily," he adds.
Bork didn't do as well following that advice before the Senate rejected his nomination in 1987 by the widest margin ever -- 58 to 42 -- after combative confirmation hearings. To be "borked" entered the political lexicon.
"I think I could have been more intelligent in my approach and more aware of what was taking place," Bork says in the interview with Campbell Brown, according to advance excerpts released by CNN . "I kept responding to questions as if it was a rational discussion, which it wasn't. And I think I would have taken that into account more if I were to do it over again."
Bork also says that Sotomayor's 2001 comment that a "wise Latina" judge could reach better decisions than white male jurist should not be enough to disqualify her "unless we're enforcing stricter standards than we have been enforcing."
"I don't think what she said is consistent with the job of a judge," he adds. "On the other hand, the woods are full of people out there who are making remarks which are not consistent with their role as judges."
He also agrees with the conventional wisdom that Sotomayor would not tip the ideological balance of the court, since if confirmed she would replace David Souter, who turned out to be more liberal than Republican President George H.W. Bush expected.
"I've heard it said by one colleague of hers that she would prove to be slightly to the left of David Souter. But there's not much room to the left of David Souter," Bork says. "So I don't think her replacement of Souter does anything except ensure a liberal vote...that won't change the court today, but it will entrench a liberal bloc on the court."
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.