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Why is our President so concerned with the wishes of Mr. Baker's clientele? What does Bush owe Baker? Let me count the ways, beginning with the 2000 election.
Just last week Baker said, "I fixed the election in Florida for George Bush." That was the substance of his remarks to an audience of Russian big wigs as reported to me by my somewhat astonished colleagues with BBC television.
It was Baker, as consiglieri to the Bush family, who came up with the strategy of maneuvering the 2000 Florida vote count into a Supreme Court packed with politicos.
Baker's claim to have fixed the election was not a confession. It was a boast. He meant to dazzle current and potential clients in the former Soviet states about his big In with the Big Boy in the White House. Baker's firm is already a top player in the Great Game of seizing Caspian Sea oil. (An executive of Exxon-Mobil, one of Baker Botts's clients, has been charged with evading taxes on bribes paid in Kazakhstan.)
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