by Unknown | 11/17/2008 09:00:00 AM
It's being announced today that Obama has named Gregory Craig as his White House counsel. Most people remember Craig as a member of Bill Clinton's legal team during the impeachment proceedings, a Washington insider, and a Clinton loyalist. Some also recall that in 2000, Craig represented the father of Elian Gonzalez pro bono.

I saw Greg Craig in person nearly a decade ago, when I was a student at the Interlochen Center for the Arts. The occasion was a memorial service for Charles K. McWhorter, a flamboyantly gay Republican operative who was a patron and trustee of Interlochen and who had served on the National Council for the Arts. McWhorter was known for having one of the world's largest Christmas card lists -- he handwrote cards to over 3,000 people -- and for showing up unannounced at Interlochen, where he would hand buckets of fresh cherries to children at the camp.

All in all, seemingly an odd individual for Craig to eulogize. But I recall Craig explaining that he and McWhorter had been lifelong friends, that it had been McWhorter who had introduced him to the important people in Washington when he had arrived as a young lawyer. At some point in his lengthy eulogy, Craig broke down in tears and had to take several minutes to recover.

A man proud of his bipartisan friendships? Sounds like a perfect fit for the Obama White House.




Anonymous Anonymous on 11/19/2008 10:58 AM:

Oh, wow... I went to Interlochen Arts Camp one summer and I remember Mr. McWhorter (as we always called him). I was a scholarship student and thus had a job in the concert office - mainly ushering concerts. All of the ushers had Mr. McWhorter pointed out to them (but certainly not introduced!) on the first day of the job, because he liked to wander the place freely and he did NOT like to be stopped and told that he could not go into restricted areas. We were warned that he was very rich and so the rules didn't apply to him and told to just let him be. We nervously avoided him and he merrily ignored us.

I didn't know any of the other details about him that you mention, but it's nice to see him spoken of warmly, because it makes me feel a bit more kindly to him now. Even if he was a Republican. (Kidding, kidding.)

(insert Interlochen theme)


Blogger Unknown on 11/20/2008 3:59 PM:

Fascinating story. I'm always a bit embarrassed to admit that I went to Interlochen -- it seems so dreadfully stuck-up of me. Anyhow, I didn't like it and went back to my local two-week music camp for the next two years, where I think I learned a lot more.


Anonymous Anonymous on 11/21/2008 8:24 AM:

I loved Interlochen; it was like a refuge from high school, which was quite miserable for me, and where I didn't have the opportunity to study music anything like as intensively. I wanted to be a professional horn player back then.

And hey: at least you got to wear pants rather than KNICKERS!