Tales from the Trail

‘Twilight’ falls at Kagan hearing

There is no escaping the “Twilight” juggernaut. Not even on Capitol Hill.

The teen vampire romance saga that’s captivated a gazillion youthful fans managed to seep into Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s confirmation hearing Wednesday, thanks to a probing question from Senator Amy Klobuchar.

Before inquiring about Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, Briscoe v. Virginia and other cases that have come before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Minnesota Democrat raised the burning question in the great “Twilight” debate: Edward or Jacob?  Kagan declined to weigh in on the topic. The senator quickly moved on.

After three days with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Kagan appears to be on a path to confirmation by the full Senate sometime after the July 4 holiday.

When Chairman Patrick Leahy announced the nominee was close to wrapping up  that other witnesses would be called on Thursday, Kagan drew laughter by asking, “You mean I can’t come back?”

First Draft: From No. 54,000 to No. 2 — after a handshake

SUMMIT-AMERICAS/The handshake that set Washington buzzing — that awkward grip-and-grin between President Barack Obama and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez at a weekend summit in Trinidad — seems to be great for book sales. Specifically, the tome Chavez passed to Obama, “Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of Pillage of a Continent” leaped from Number 54,000 on Amazon.com to Number 2, almost overnight.

The anti-colonialist book is in some strange company atop the online bestsellers list. Five of the others in the top 10 are editions in the popular romantic vampire “Twilight” series. There’s also “The 5000 Year Leap: A Miracle That Changed the World” at Number 7. The online description says it’s about how “the United States there has been a gradual drifting away from the Founding Fathers original success formula.”

Number 9 is “The Ultimate Depression Survival Guide: Protect Your Savings, Boost Your Income, and Grow Wealthy Even in the Worst of Times.” Number 8 is “The Shack,” billed as “a one of a kind invitation to journey to the very heart of God.”