Starr Sighting


After the worship assembly on Sunday, I turn around to leave and see none other than Ken Starr making a special point to come shake my hand and ask about my winter break.  He made a special point to speak to Jody and Hillary and ask how my law school experience has been for them, too. I have barely had occasion to speak to Dean Starr over my first semester here, but on the several times we have passed at the school he has made a special point to greet me warmly and appear at least that he is genuinely concerned about how things are going for me.  I really believe that he is.

I have always tried to argue against pre-judging an individual, usually as this pertains to race or religion or socioeconomic status. Which is why I find it personally disconcerting when I notice how I pre-judge the mega-figures from the headlines. Like Ken Starr, I guess.

Dean Starr was on C-SPAN yesterday to discuss the Solicitor General position in light of President-Elect Obama’s nomination of Elena Kagan, dean of Harvard Law School. I doubt you will want to watch all nineteen minutes and forty-five seconds of the Civics lesson, but you might want to watch the first minute or two – I think I’m qualified to say that the graciousness you will see in his opening remarks, and the bipartisan tenor of his rhetoric, is not just for the television cameras.

You can see the interview HERE.


2 Responses to “Starr Sighting”

  1. urbino Says:

    I think I’m qualified to say that the graciousness you will see in his opening remarks, and the bipartisan tenor of his rhetoric, is not just for the television cameras.

    My browser doesn’t seem to want to play the video, but I do have a question. Where do you think this bipartisanship came from? Clearly, he was very partisan during the 1990s. Do you think his current bipartisanship is the result of something he learned from that experience (or in the years since)? Is it the different nature of the 2 jobs? Did he somehow think he was being fair rather than partisan back then? Was he bipartisan back then, but just exercised poor judgment in doing his job?

    I’m just curious what your read of the apparent contradictions is.

  2. alsturgeon Says:

    I don’t know. But I suspect parts of all your questions factor in to some extent.

    I was surprised by reading about him some before I came – there was an L.A. Times interview (online) that presented him in a much more inclusive light than I had ever imagined, and I also read that he was passed over as a Supreme earlier in his career because the conservatives thought he would be too liberal – also surprising. And all I mean by my little post is that he is such a warm and welcoming person, which surprised me, and I suspect would surprise many.

    To your questions, I’m sure he did learn from the experience and is especially cognizant of his reputation (which he’d see as unfair, I’m sure). And I do think the nature of the job is different – Alito & Scalia seem to drop by here every year, and Clarence Thomas came in the fall – all Starr connections to be sure, but I also get the vibe that he doesn’t want this to “just” be a conservative law school (in the CSPAN deal, he lauded Kagan for her inclusiveness in reverse at Harvard). And as to “back then,” I suspect he feels he’s the same now as he was then while acknowleding mistakes.

    Anyway, still feels weird to be someone recognizable to him! And my big point is that from my experience he is a really nice man.

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