News Flash — Ambition Spotted in Washington

The Washington Post continues its campaign to make something out of nothing with the latest breathless installment in the “gang of eight prosecutors” story. This story pertains to the replacement of Bud Cummins, the U.S. Attorney in Little Rock, by Tim Griffin, an aide to Karl Rove. The email traffic shows that Griffin “worked to become prosecutor.” Imagine that — a lawyer actually campaigned for a presidential appointment instead of waiting for it to fall in his lap. Shocking.
But that’s only part of the scandal. The emails also indicate that Karl Rove was interested in helping the career of someone who worked for him. So now we know that connections play a role who gets political appointments. I bet they didn’t teach you that in your Civics class.
The real issue, of course, is whether Griffin was qualified for the job. The Post knows he is, but ducks the issue through references to Griffin as an “operative” and the like. His credentials as a prosecutor are addressed only lightly towards the end of the story.
In truth, Griffin is veteran prosecutor with strong credentials. He served in that capacity for the Army’s JAG Corps, including a stint in Iraq. He also served as a special assistant in the U.S. Attorneys Office in Little Rock handling drug and fire arms cases. The man he replaced, Bud Cummins, once referred to Griffin as his “right hand.”
But this was of little interest to Post writers Dan Eggen and Amy Goldstein. And you can understand why — they were hot on the trail of uncovering ambition in Washington, D.C.
UPDATE: The Post story turns the floor over to Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor who opines, “[Griffin] was a very loyal soldier to the Republicans and the Bush administration, and they wanted to reward him.” At the risk of further shocking our readers, I’ll reveal that the U.S. attorney job can be a stepping stone for seeking high political office, like a position in the U.S. Senate. Could it be that Pryor, who was standing in the way of Griffin’s nomination, might have wanted to block the path of a future political rival?
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