I don't have much to say aside from my endorsement of this post on Clarence Thomas and the myth of the "one most qualified" candidate. Was Clarence Thomas the single "most qualified" person who could have been nominated for a SCOTUS seat? To the extent that question makes sense, the answer is clearly "no", but the better moral is that the question really doesn't make sense.
"Despite" the fact that he was clearly an "affirmative action" pick by President Bush, who recognized that the legitimacy of the Supreme Court couldn't stand for it being lily-white anymore, Justice Thomas has proven himself to be an innovative thinker and an all-around excellent jurist (albeit one with whom I disagree with on nearly every issue). Which goes for the proposition that there are a great many (or at least more than one) candidates qualified for most government positions, and once you get beyond certain basic thresholds, what we're looking for isn't the "most qualified" person but rather between the different contributions different candidates are likely to bring to the job. And Justice Thomas, whatever his other failings, has brought an important perspective to the Supreme Court that almost certainly would not have been replicated by any other potential George H.W. Bush nominee.