While President Barack Obama has been busy staffing up his Office of White House Counsel, George W. Bush’s last White House counsel, Fred Fielding, has been vacationing at his home in Sanibel Island, Florida. “I just wanted to take a little time off, and clear my head,” Fielding said during a brief phone call today. “I’m going to take my wife on a cruise.”
Fielding, who was a name partner at Wiley Rein before Bush tapped him as White House counsel in 2007, said he has not decided on his next career move. “I’ve made no plans at this point,” he said. When asked if he’s considering returning to Wiley Rein, Fielding said he would get in touch with name partner Richard Wiley to discuss his plans once he gets back to D.C. Fielding said he would be back in town by the middle of next month.
In the weeks leading up to Obama’s inauguration, Fielding said he worked with Obama’s White House counsel pick, Gregory Craig, to “accommodate what he needed…and also brief him up on the office.” Fielding said he would advise any incoming White House counsel to “remember the responsibilities that you have, and who your client is.” He speaks from experience, since Fielding was also White House counsel to Ronald Reagan, and associate counsel to Richard Nixon.
Though Fielding did not discuss in-depth his time in the Bush administration, he said President Bush was a “terrific” client, and that he listened to the legal advice Fielding supplied.