White House Counsel Pick: Disgraceful At Best
Barack Obama has broken barriers with his history-making electoral victory and for that he deserves a congratulatory note. But now that the seemingly endless campaign has wrapped, the adoration he was afforded by American media outlets hasn't subsided.
Unfortunately, mainstream media outlets are too busy basking in the glories of Obama's sweeping success to maintain even a base level of scrutiny. Of course, this inability to be objective did not suddenly emerge following Obama's victory; the media have been enamored by Obama since early 2007, as they have created and sustained what appears to be a lasting love affair.
While I can easily delve into a long-winded diatribe about the media's insane infatuation with Obama, I'm not sure that it would be necessary to do so. After all, most polls show that the American people are more than aware of the media's leftist inclinations.
From August until November, the mainstream media lambasted Gov. Sarah Palin. From the failure to quickly correct the erroneous (not to mention hateful) stories about Trig Palin's birth mother to the continued sexism that was prevalent in the majority of news stories, the media gleefully chiseled away at Palin's image. Meanwhile, Barack Obama escaped without a scratch, as media outlets actually went out of their way to baselessly portray him as a reformer who is sure to bring "hope" and "change" to Washington.
Following suit with their pre-election adoration, the media have literally ignored the ironic picks Obama has made for his incoming admin posts. The man who promised us "change" has thus far called upon Washington insiders (i.e. former Clintonians) to fill cabinet posts. While this may be looked upon as a smart move in terms of nominating individuals who have a record of what some on the left call success, it exemplifies the "more of the same" attitude Obama has railed against so enthusiastically in his rhetoric.
Aside from the media's failure to critique this blatant fact, there is one pick, in particular, that has barely been vetted by the Fourth Estate. On November 17th, the Politico reported that Obama will select Gregory B. Craig for the White House counsel post. For those readers who are not familiar with the role of the White House counsel, the Politico explains:
"The White House counsel, among the most powerful members of the West Wing inner circle, serves as the president's lawyer, giving him legal advice and handling pardons and conflict-of-interest issues. "
While this might seem arbitrary to many Americans who are less than familiar with Craig, a cursory look at his past clientele is stunning. According to the Williams and Connolly LLP web site (Craig is a partner at the firm), "In 2000, Mr. Craig successfully represented Elian Gonzalez's father, Mr. Juan Miguel Gonzalez, in administrative and court proceedings involving Mr. Gonzalez's effort to regain custody of his son, Elian." Yes, this is the same Elian Gonzalez who was sent back to communist Cuba after his mother died trying to bring him to the United States.
Additionally, Craig represented Kofi Annan, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, "...to defend his interests in the Volcker Commission probe of the Oil-for-Food scandal, which put billions of dollars into Saddam Hussein's pockets while providing cash for Annan's son, his deputies, and some allege Annan himself."
Despite the fact that Craig served on Obama's campaign, he also represented Bill Clinton during his impeachment trial (he deflected from Hillary Clinton's campaign during the primaries).
And it gets worse. There are two clients who cause the others to shrink to mere obscurity. The first -- Pedro Miguel González -- is a fugitive who is under federal indictment for his alleged 1992 murder of Zak Hernández, a U.S. Army sergeant. While The Dallas Morning News called upon Barack Obama to ask Craig to choose between the Obama campaign and representation of González, HotAir reports that there is no easy-to-find documentation on whether Craig did, indeed, drop the case.
The last client is indefinitely the most concerning. Craig represented John Hickley, Jr., the man who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan. Thanks to Craig, Hinckley was granted an insanity defense.
I must agree with HotAir's Ed Morrissey: This pick is disgraceful. Can you imagine what would have happened if McCain (pending he won the election) chose someone with a similar past? Mainstream media outlets would rampantly run headlines like "McCain Plans to Nominate Wannabe Presidential Assassin," "Many Call McCain Pick a Disgrace" or "McCain Pick Raises Eyebrows." But, in this case, the presses are relatively silent. Surprise!
While Gregory Craig has surely had a successful career and his talents in the legal realm should not be downplayed, the moral fabrics associated with the clientele he has willingly chosen fall short of the "hope" and "change" Obama has pledged to bring to Washington. This pick is indefensible at best and the media ought to report on it more fervently.