Attorney General. If that is not precisely the way it turned out, much of the blame can be attributed to being too highly dependent on a few political aides from his home state, and not sufficiently reliant upon a Department that wanted Thornburgh, and all who are given short-term licenses to guide the rule of law, to succeed.
But, as I say, others must assess Thornburgh's efforts. My task as the Attorney General's lawyer has been to write what the Wall Street Journal has recently called the "Meese footnote." 2 This book does indeed stand as a proud "footnote" rebuttal to every off-hand reference to Attorney General Meese's tenure as " 'stormy or worse.'" 3 As the editorialist sagely discerns: "The strategy behind reflexively imputing flaws of character to Ed Meese as Attorney General is that if the public buys it, the public may also devalue Mr. Meese's policy achievements." 4
As reflected here, the Attorney General's legal and policy achievements were numerous and significant.