Larry Pressler was a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee while I was a committee staffer. As I recall, during the confirmation hearings for Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, Pressler’s questions primarily involved arcane issues of Indian law. The way Pressler struggled to read the questions and paid no attention to the answers indicated that he had no idea what he was asking about.
Whenever I run across those magazine ads promising to help you read like a Harvard graduate, I think, “Yeah, but the Harvard graduate you end up reading like might be Larry Pressler.”
Here’s the story that was most commonly told about Pressler: In trying to leave a hearing, he once mistakenly walked into a closet behind the dais, rather than into the anteroom, and closed the door behind him. Several minutes later, he backed out of the closet and, in an effort to disguise his error, waved good-bye greetings to his imaginary friends in the closet. Whether or not the story is true (I have my doubts), it reflects how Pressler was regarded in the Senate.