What this photo demonstrates, as much as anything, is Elena Kagan’s similarity to Obama in finessing an issue.
As dean of Harvard’s Law School, Kagan fought to bar the military from using the school’s main recruiting office over “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” At the same time, however, she continued to allow the military access to students through another office and refused to back a suit challenging the government’s right to tie college funds to support for military recruitment.
Last year, when Kyle Scherer, a graduate of Harvard Law, was promoted to captain in the Massachusetts Army National Guard, he invited Kagan to his ceremony giving her the honor of pinning his bars on his shoulder. Scherer made a point to emphasize how Kagan remained supportive of students engagement with the military.
In its hands-on support of the military branch (even as it parses support for the troops from support from the institution of the military and its discriminatory policy), the photo should help neutralize any heat Kagan might take from Jeff Sessions and right wing Senators for her already moderated stance in the dispute over campus recruiting.