Diary

The Return Of Yet Another Clintonite

Former Clinton defense lawyer and longtime Hillary Clinton friend Greg Craig, who served as one of Barack Obama’s foreign policy advisers, will be White House Counsel in the incoming Administration. Once again, let it be noted that the incoming Administration is trying to find as many ways as possible to bring in former lobbyists under the radar:

TransAfrica President Randall Robinson lavished praise on Craig for his “pivotal” role as Kennedy’s aide in 1986, helping reach the winning margin in Congress to impose economic sanctions on South Africa. But years later, Robinson was perturbed when Craig showed up in his office with two brothers from the Mevs family, well-connected Haitian oligarchs. Craig, their paid lobbyist, was attempting to grease their access to the American opinion leaders and policymakers who imposed economic sanctions on Haiti after the military coup against the country’s democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

“I expressed to Greg my surprise at his relationship with these people,” Robinson says. “They obviously had supported the coup, and the family had been established in wealth by Papa Doc Duvalier,” the brutal dictator of the 1950s and ’60s. “We were fighting to restore democracy, and here was Greg, representing the interests of those who benefited from its absence.”

Clearly, this is yet another example of Change We Can Believe In. Note as well the following (from the Politico piece linked in the first paragraph):

Among Craig’s other high-profile cases: successfully representing Elian Gonzalez’ father, a Cuban, in his efforts to regain custody of his son; and representing U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan in connection during the Volcker Commission’s investigation of the Oil-for-Food Program at the United Nations.

Do voters in Florida know about this? And how will this impact the incoming Administration’s efforts–to the extent that those efforts will even be made–to reform the culture of corruption at the United Nations. Of course, being an attorney, I know that lawyers must, from time to time, represent clients whose public reputations have taken something of a pounding. That’s not much of an issue so long as the attorney doing the representing stays in the legal community. But when that attorney becomes White House Counsel, who is to say that he/she will not wield influence over policy in a manner that would be inconsistent with long-term American foreign policy objectives?

But then, we should learn to expect such policy and personnel conundrums from the incoming Administration. After all, it is steadily being established that Barack Obama is not the Messiah. He is just another politician.