It's the third -- and probably final -- day of jury selection in the trial of former Cheney chief of staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby. NBC's Kelly O'Donnell says 24 prospective jurors remain the pool; nine have been dismissed (two for financial hardship, one for insufficient English, one for medical problems, and five for bias). Judge Reggie Walton said he wants to finish selection today and will work past 5:00 pm, if necessary. Per O'Donnell, some of yesterday's more interesting prospective jurors included:
-- a white woman who said: "I can't believe any statement by the Bush Administration." She was dismissed.
-- a retired high school math teacher from North Carolina who said this about Cheney: "I think the vice president played a pivotal role in Desert Storm, the first war. I think as Defense secretary, he deserves a lot of credit for that. The man added: "Not sure about his health with his heart. Not sure I'd like to go bird hunting with him, either."
-- a white male who said he was a former Washington Post reporter and also a former neighbor of NBC's Tim Russert. He described Russert as "entertaining" and "friendly" but added that he doesn't watch Meet the Press. He also stressed his ability to be fair and weigh facts, but also said, "I'm not making a pitch to get on this jury."
As the Washington Post writes, "To see how small a town Washington really is, drop in on jury selection at the trial of I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, where so far nearly every juror candidate seems to have a connection to the players or events surrounding the leak of an undercover CIA officer's identity."