On March 3, I read in Robert Novak’s column that Greg Craig was endorsing Senator Barack Obama. Knowing a bit about Greg Craig and his relationship with the Clintons, I found his endorsement much more of a shocker than David Geffen’s high profile Hollywood split with the power couple. I thought the rest of the political press might pick up Novak’s scoop, but it seems that no one was paying attention.
Now, I know that Greg Craig is not a house hold name and you might be scratching your head and saying, “Who the hell is Greg Craig?” You shouldn’t feel bad if his name is not on the tip of your tongue. But his desertion of the Clintons for a fresh voice should be major news. Just review his relationship with the President and Senator and you will know why this is a big deal.
Greg Craig has known the Clintons since they were at Yale. In fact, some claim that Craig personally introduced Bill and Hillary. He has known them for nearly four decades as both a personal friend and a counsel to the President. During the impeachment trial, Craig served as White House Special Counsel and defended the President in the proceedings before the United States Congress. He was that close to the President.
In addition, Craig was a senior advisor to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, building on his years as an advisor to Senator Kennedy on defense and foreign policy issues.
The man is not a lightweight. In addition to the President of the United States, he has represented Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Washington Post, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and Elian Gonzalez’s father, who sought the return of his son to Cuba. A prolific attorney, he has built a portfolio that includes some of the most high profile clients and cases in Washington.
He is the ultimate FOB, or “friend of Bill,” and a consummate Washington insider. He would be among those you would expect to immediately support Senator Clinton. Having been their friend, lawyer and confidant for all this time, his early endorsement of Obama is astounding. And yes, Senator Obama is a powerful and charismatic candidate, but you can be sure there is more in play than just Craig being inspired by the good Senator from Illinois.