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Interviewing 101: The Bush Administration Way

He continues:

I had no idea why he was asking me this. "He's the dean of Chicago-Kent law school," I replied. "And a well-known Internet scholar."

"Why did you give eight hundred dollars to his campaign?" Leitch followed up.

My heart sank. One of Leitch's jobs as Deputy White House Counsel was to vet candidates for political appointments. A few years earlier I had given my first, and at that point my only, campaign contribution to Perritt, who at the time was running for a seat in the House of Representatives from the Tenth District of Illinois. Perritt was not a Republican. He was a Democrat. A very liberal Democrat. I explained that Perritt was a friend, and that he had personally asked me to contribute to his campaign.

"Why have you never given money to a Republican?" Leitch continued. "Are you a Republican?"

After Goldsmith assured Leitch that he was in fact a Republican despite never having contributed to Republicans, the interview went on to more expected topics. Not surprisingly, the interview managed not to touch on his disagreements with aspects of the administration's interrogation policy. If they'd asked, presumably Goldsmith's gripes would have been laid bare, sparing the administration plenty of trouble. But they didn't, although they became suitably convinced of Goldsmith's partisan loyalty.