July 12, 2007

Ol' Fred Swats Back At The L.A. Times Ankle-Biters

As published by the guys at Powerline.

A lawyer who is a candidate or a prospective candidate for office finds himself in an interesting position because of the nature of the legal profession and the practice of law. This is true when the practice was as varied as mine, and it’s especially true when the office being considered is the Presidency of the United States.

The easiest and most generally used tactic when running against a lawyer is to trade off a general perception that most people dislike lawyers. Goodness knows that a lot of lawyers have earned disfavor but, as it turns out, folks understand our system better than a lot of politicians think they do. In my first run for the Senate, my opponent tried the old demagoguery route – “He has even represented criminals!” – to no avail.

A first cousin of this ploy is to associate the lawyer with the views of his client. Now-United States Chief Justice John Roberts addressed this notion during his confirmation hearings. “… [I]t’s a tradition of the American Bar that goes back before the founding of the country that lawyers are not identified with the positions of their clients. The most famous example probably was John Adams, who represented the British soldiers charged in the Boston Massacre.”

Roberts pointed out that Adams was actually vindicating the rule of law. Every person, unpopular or not, is entitled to representation. He further said, “That principle that you don’t identify the lawyer with the particular views of the client or the views that the lawyer advances on behalf of the client, is critical to the fair administration of justice.”

Read the whole thing here.

I'm fascinated at how aggressive the L.A. Times has been in going after an as-of-yet undeclared candidate.

The timing is interesting. That they would choose now before his candidacy officially takes off and gains some momentum (and hardly anyone is paying attention) is very telling. Perhaps they fear that once he gets going he'll be much harder to derail.

Maybe Ol' Fred said it best himself the other day: "I'm not gonna get down in the weeds with every thing that they dredge up over the next six months... but in terms of already being a target, I'll just say, they know who to be afraid of."

Posted by Gary at July 12, 2007 09:45 AM | TrackBack