Nicole Nason may prove to be a solid choice to be the government's chief regulator of vehicle safety. But last week's hearing by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation did little to test her worthiness.
It wasn't her fault. The committee lumped Nason's nomination as NHTSA administrator together with five other jobs. The questioning, such as it was, veered into maritime issues and pipeline safety and barely touched on the interests of more than 200 million motorists.
Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., offered a couple of tentative questions about rollover dangers and fuel economy standards. Nason provided dutiful answers.
Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, the committee's chairman, seemed most concerned about having nominees introduce all of their family members.
Then there was Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., who observed from somewhere in a 1950s time warp that Nason's qualities included being "attractive."
The Senate is expected to confirm Nason soon.