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: Law Blog - WSJ.com

An Old Clinton Lawyer . . . Now Repping McCain

By Dan Slater

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bennettThe Law Blog spent a good deal of time this morning rifling through the mess of media commentary surrounding today’s New York Times opus on John McCain. For those just waking up, the piece suggests a romantic link between John McCain and a telecom lobbyist and questions McCain’s confidence “in his ability to distinguish personal friendships from compromising connections.”

As usual, all we really cared about was this: where’s the lawyer? He wasn’t hard to find, thanks to WaPo media columnist Howard Kurtz. It’s Bob Bennett! Bennett, a Skadden Arps partner, noted author, brother of politico Bill Bennett, and lawyer for Bill Clinton in the Monica Lewinsky and Paula Jones flaps — was hired by McCain back in December (December?) to help handle the Times inquiry.

Bennett (Georgetown, Georgetown Law) is no stranger to high-profile political representations. According to his Skadden profile, in addition to repping Clinton, he has counseled Paul Wolfowitz, and Judith Miller in the CIA leak investigation.

Ironically, last night Bennett went on a FOX News program to be interviewed about his new book, “In the Ring: The Trials of a Washington Lawyer.” But since the NYT story had just broken, the conversation veered toward his connection to McCain. Here’s a snippet of what Bennett said:

You know, Iím in a pretty unique position to talk about John McCain. First, I should tell your listeners Iím a registered Democrat, so Iím not on his side of a lot of issues. . . . And after representing him the last few months, answering all the questions of the New York Times, looking into the allegations they wanted us to respond to, I cannot find, nor can they, a single instance where John McCain did something contrary to his beliefs. . . .

But we’d be remiss without giving you, Law Blog readers, a little softer-sided fortune-cookie advice from Bennett, a boxing fan and hard-nosed advocate: “You can never allow the practice of law to smother your personal relationships,” he writes in his book. “It cannot replace the companionship of your loved ones.”

Correction: An earlier version of this post said Bennett received his law degree from University of Virginia. He attended UVA Law School, but got his degree from Georgetown.

Full post as published by Law Blog - WSJ.com on February 21, 2008 (boomark / email).

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