While it’s true that Alberto Gonzales has loose connections to two of the worst scandals to emerge during the President’s first term (he gave his legal thumbs up to the idea of relaxing our torture rules and he was a partner in the firm that represented Enron), he is certainly (unlike his predecessor) no darling of the right wing. It’s telling that both sides are a bit wary of the selection.
The selection of Gonzales, who W calls “My Lawyer,” gives an interesting glimpse into the Bush hierarchy of qualifications. When W worked on his father’s second campaign, he had several roles. He did act as a liaison to the religious right and (believe it or not) the media. But he was also often put in charge of another job; testing the loyalty of those who worked for the then Vice President. Remember, Bush 41 had been head of the CIA and he still sought out his son’s ability to determine loyalty among friends. Interestingly, W had another related role when he took an advisory position to help his father to pick his own cabinet.
In Gonzales, we see bits and pieces of the Bush past and management styles. In this case, loyalty could be at the top of the hierarchy of cabinet qualifications.