Better Call Norm

April 21st, 2009 | Sources: Washington Post


Norm Eisen, the Big O’s Ethics Czar is a busy guy.

Eisen, who guards his boss’ integrity like Curtis Sliwa, is the go-to guy every time someone in the new administration needs a curbside consult on how ethical government is supposed to work.
NormCan we hire that former lobbyist? Better call Norm. Is it OK to accept presents from former clients? Blow it by Norm. Need to brief a new appointee on the Big O’s ethics policies? Norm’s the guy.

The man gets yanked from his desk to handle emergencies like this 20 times per day, according to the Washington Post.

A former Obama classmate at Harvard Law, Eisen apparently didn’t have trouble crafting an executive order that resulted in the most comprehensive government ethics reform in a generation.

That order prohibited people who had lobbied government in the last 2 years from working in the Obama administration, and permanently banned anyone who left the administration from returning as a lobbyist.

It’s enforcing the rules that makes him sweat.

And the pressure’s been turned up since Daschle’s and Tiny Tim’s tax problems dropped shoe polish on the otherwise pristine start. Now Eisen helps vet pretty much all administrative positions.

And when he’s not doing that he’s hounding interns to sign their ethics pledge, crafting rules on economic regulatory reform and shaping all manner of public policy.
Norm'ssmart,man!“He’s the original propeller-head ethics geek, like something right out of ‘The West Wing’ TV show,” White House chief council Gregory Craig told the Post.

“Everybody loves Norm. I don’t go anywhere without him. I don’t leave home without Norm on these issues.”


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