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A mischievously granular White House counsel

The Washington Post's Style section today profiles the White House counsel, Bob Bauer, in one of those flattering stories reporters do early in an important official's tenure. Bauer's predecessor, Greg Craig, resigned in January after losing the President's confidence.

The piece by Anne E. Kornblut, "Is this the counsel Obama keeps?" does impart some useful information along with the "thoughtful" with a "mischievous sense of humor" source greasing. For one thing, Jan Baran of Wiley Rein LLP is a long-time friend of Bauer, and given Baran's support for the First Amendment, that's a mark in Bauer's favor. (Just a gut reaction.) Then there's Bauer's White House team:

To replace deputy counsel Cassandra Butts, an Obama loyalist who left around the same time as Craig (after a similarly rocky tenure), Bauer brought in three new lawyers: Kathy Ruemmler, an experienced litigator who prosecuted the Enron case and was most recently at the Justice Department; Kate Andrias, a former associate at Perkins Coie; and Don Verrilli, a former appellate attorney at the Justice Department. In particular, the "Kate-Kathy team," as colleagues refer to it, is structured to keep Bauer from getting overwhelmed by the day-to-day flood of requests.

Best part of the story? This line:

"He's more granular in terms of his involvement," one senior Obama adviser said, when asked for a comparison with Craig.

Look for the line in White House memoirs to come: "I remember when Bob's granularness really saved us."



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.