Robert Bauer, the new White House counsel, is a longtime Democratic operative known for his hard-nosed style and work ethic. He is a veteran of the Clinton impeachment proceedings and represented House Democrats during the Bush years, where he was known for his aggressive strategy—he went as far as to sue Tom DeLay and his fundraisers for racketeering.
Republicans have criticized Obama’s choice; an RNC statement noted, "Bauer has reputation for pushing the bounds of campaign finance law, contradictory to Obama's articulated principles." Even so, he has earned the respect of other Republicans: "I have immense regard for his legal skills," one GOP lawyer told the Washington Post. Another, a frequent opponent, is just relieved that Bauer has a new job: "Frankly, I am glad he will be leaving the 'partisan' arena.”
(Read more Bob Bauer stories.)