Any taxonomy of first friends includes a few familiar types. There’s the amiable glad-hander destined for the outer Cabinet, like George W. Bush crony Don Evans. There’s the scheming, scandal-prone loyalist, like the Clinton hanger-on Harry Thomason, of Travelgate infamy. And then there’s the discreet consigliere who serves alternatively as fixer, sounding board, chief surrogate, and all-around defender of the faith. Personal friends with such outsize influence are actually quite rare in presidential politics. Within recent administrations, only Valerie Jarrett really fits the profile.
Like many people, I've basically been sitting back and enjoying the increasingly nasty back-and-forth between Romney and Giuliani. But I want to take a brief timeout to delve into one particular facet of it: Former Massachusetts GOP chairman Jim Rappaport's recent endorsement of Giuliani (and savaging of Romney).