The Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberly A. Strassel has just conferred her “Adult of the Year Award” on a man who deserves it, Attorney General William Barr. And Ms. Strassel writes with sufficient distance from the swamp to be taken seriously. Her column, titled “Potomac Watch,” is, I am told, composed from her lair in Alaska. That ought to insulate her from the swamp’s fumes and from Wall Street’s, too.
Moreover, though the attorney general has been a presence in Washington for years, he is not simply a Washington creature. He is his own man. A few months back, when it fell to me to introduce him at a professional dinner, I made bold to say, “I hope I am not mispronouncing your last name, General Barr. The accent is on the first syllable is it not?”
He, in a very good-natured way, assured me that it was. You must remember that I am a stickler for pronunciation, and the attorney general has a well-developed sense of the absurd.
Ms. Strassel in her award-conferring column noted that upon being nominated for attorney general by President Donald Trump in December 2018 “he received the respect that he deserves.” Official Washington was quick to note Mr. Barr’s years of nonpartisan facility with the law observable in years spent at the Justice Department, at the CIA and in private practice. He was known as a serious student of the law and of the U.S. Constitution. All agreed he would not be anyone’s toady.