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article imageObama Picks White House Counsel

By Sadiq Green     Nov 17, 2008 in Politics
President-elect Barack Obama has reportedly settled on another key staff position. Gregory B. Craig, a well-known Washington lawyer who served as a defence council for President Bill Clinton during his impeachment, has been chosen White House counsel.
The White House counsel serves as the president’s lawyer, giving him legal advice and handling pardons and conflict-of-interest issues. The selection of Craig adds to the large number of Clinton White House veterans who are at the top of the Obama roster. Craig was friends with Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham at Yale Law School, was recruited for the impeachment job by John Podesta, then deputy White House chief of staff who now leads Obama's transition team.
The 63 year-old Craig, is a partner at the DC firm Williams & Connolly, successfully represented Elián González's father, a Cuban, in his efforts to regain custody of his son. He also represented United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan during the Volcker Commission's investigation of the oil-for-food Program scandal. Craig represented John Hinckley, Jr., who was convicted of the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan in 1981.
Craig served as Senator Edward Kennedy’s Senior Advisor on Defense, Foreign Policy and National Security issues for five years from 1984-88. He was tapped as a senior advisor for the Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in 1997, and he served as Director of Policy Planning at The State Department from 1997–98. His Stated Department experience led to some speculation that he would be in line for the Secretary of State position in an Obama administration.
Craig served as a foreign policy adviser for Obama during the campaign, particularly with regard to Latin American foreign policy issues. Craig played the role of Republican nominee John McCain in preperation for the the first presidential debate.
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