Alito made several joking references to Vice President-elect Joseph Biden... including Biden's withdrawal from the 1988 presidential campaign over plagiarizing parts of a speech from a British politician.AP surmises that he's still pissed about questions Biden asked at Alito's confirmation hearings.
"To coin a phrase, in the spirit of the vice president-elect, you can't always get what you want, but you get what you need," Alito said, an imperfect rendering of a Rolling Stones lyric.
Then, he added, "Did someone say that before?"
A bit later in his talk... Alito said he was about to quote liberally from a magazine article. "In the spirit of the vice president-elect, I want to honor the copyright laws," Alito said.
In case you've forgotten, here's how Biden acted back then:
"I understand, Judge, I am the only one standing between you and lunch, so I'll try to make this painless," he began, with some promise.But I don't think it's necessary to infer that Alito's still pissed about that and getting back at the garrulous old VP-elect. We all make fun of Biden whenever we feel like it.
Mr. Biden then dived into a soliloquy on Judge Alito's failure to recuse himself from cases involving the Vanguard mutual fund company, which managed the judge's investments. After 2 minutes 50 seconds - short for the senator - Mr. Biden did appear to veer toward a question, but abandoned it to cite Judge Alito's membership in a conservative Princeton alumni group. Mr. Biden discoursed on that for a moment, then interrupted himself with an aside about his son who "ended up going to that other university, the University of Pennsylvania."
Judge Alito, who had been sitting without expression through Mr. Biden's musings, interrupted the senator midword, got out three sentences, then settled in for nearly 26 minutes more of Mr. Biden, with the senator doing most of the talking. With less than a minute to spare, Mr. Biden concluded, thanked Judge Alito for "being responsive," then said to Mr. Specter that "I want to note that for maybe the first time in history, Biden is 40 seconds under his time."