Staring at Strangers is overdue with its mandatory law-related post.
The late Robert R. Wright III invited a small group of his closest friends to Little Rock that fall. The year was 1995, and the friends were all lawyers. Bob showed us the best of Little Rock – the Central High School, a private club where Gennifer Flowers used to sing, the apartment building where state troopers chauffeured a former governor, Doe’s Eats Place, the Capital Club, The Rose Law Firm, the house which the Clintons rented when they didn’t live in public housing, a room at the Excelsior Hotel, The University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law, and the home of the federal judge who would mercifully put Jones v. Clinton, 990 F.Supp 657 (E.D. Ark. 1998) to rest. T.J. McDonough, my law school contracts professor, showed up unannounced at her home.
But amidst all of these stops, we went to the Governor’s Mansion. There would soon be no drinking in that place, Bob warned us, because a Southern Baptist minister would take office shortly after the current governor’s indictment. A lean fellow sat down on a chintz sofa next to me, and we talked about what a consummate campaigner Bill Clinton had been. It took me a few minutes to realize that I was talking to none other than the sitting governor, Jim Guy Tucker. The minister would turn out to be Mike Huckabee, and that’s where my connection with him ends.