In Lanny Davis' new book, Scandal: How "Gotcha" Politics Is Destroying America, he argues that for more than four decades, American politics has been driven by partisan politicians, extremists on the left and right, and a sensationalist media energized by bringing public officials down. Davis, who has been in the belly of the beast as Special Counsel to the Clinton White House, explains - starting with historical scandals like Alexander Hamilton's extramarital affairs and moving on to the unsurpassable Watergate and beyond - how we reached this sorry state. Davis tells us how this poisonous atmosphere is damaging not just politics, but American society as a whole.
Lanny Davis served as Special Counsel to President Bill Clinton from 1996-98. In 2005, President Bush appointed Mr. Davis to serve on the five-member Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. Davis has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor, Hannity and Colmes, MSNBC, and CNN, and his writings have appeared in The New York Times. He is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe and author of Truth to Tell.
The World Affairs Council was founded in 1947 out of the interest generated by the founding of the United Nations in San Francisco in 1945. With over 10,000 members, they are the largest international affairs organization on the west coast.
Mr. Davis, a partner in Orrick's Washington, D.C. office, is a member of the Litigation Practice Group. Mr. Davis advises clients on a wide range of legal and governmental issues. He concentrates his practice in civil litigation, with particular focus on securities fraud and accounting irregularities cases, antitrust, government contracts and commercial litigation, and legal crisis management and strategic communications. In June 2005, President Bush appointed Mr. Davis to serve on the five-member Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, created by the U.S. Congress as part of the 2005 Intelligence Reform Act.
From 1996 to 1998, Mr. Davis served as Special Counsel to the President in the White House and was spokesperson for the President on matters concerning the campaign finance investigations and other legal issues. Drawing upon this experience, since his return to private practice, Mr. Davis provides counseling to corporations and government contractors on crisis management issues by developing press strategies for entities exposed to high-profile litigation and regulatory matters, particularly in high-tech/securities fraud cases and other legal issues where media coverage can affect legal outcomes and commercial reputational injuries.
Mr. Davis has participated in national, state and local politics for almost 30 years. He has served three terms (1980-1992) on the Democratic National Committee representing the State of Maryland, and during that period he served on the DNC Executive Committee and as Chairman of the Eastern Region Caucus. In Montgomery County, Maryland, he served as Chairman of the Washington Suburban Transit Commission.
Mr. Davis has written extensively on politics for many years in a variety of publications. He is the author of Truth to Tell Notes From My White House Education (The Free Press: New York, 1999). Tom Brokaw of NBC News said, "Lanny Davis has written a book that should be required reading for all Washington officials and journalists alike. It's an instructive and cautionary tale of the constant struggle to know the truth of what is going on at the highest levels of government." He is also the author of The Emerging Democratic Majority: Lessons and Legacies from the New Politics (Stein and Day, 1973), a political history of the liberal movements of the 1960's and early 1970's. Mr. Davis is the co-author of Allen and Davis on Computer Contracting: A User's Guide with Forms and Strategies (Prentice Hall, 1992), and has lectured throughout the United States and Europe on the subject. In addition, he is the author of forthcoming book, "Scandal: How 'Gotcha' Politics is Destroying America," to be published by Palgrave Macmillan in September 2006.
Between 1990 and 1996, Mr. Davis was a bi-monthly commentator on Maryland politics for WAMU-88.5/FM, a Washington D.C. local affiliate of National Public Radio. He has been a regular television commentator and has been a political and legal analyst for MSNBC, CNN, Fox Cable, CNBC and network TV news programs. He has published numerous op-ed/analysis pieces in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and other national publications.
Mr. Davis came to Washington, D.C. in 1970 after graduating from Yale Law School where he won the prestigious Thurmon Arnold Moot Court prize and served on the Yale Law Journal. A graduate of Yale College, Mr. Davis served as Chairman of the Yale Daily News.
Mr. Davis started as an associate at Patton Boggs in 1975 and became a partner in 1978. In October 2003, Mr. Davis became a partner at Orrick and brought along with him the other members of his unique "Legal Crisis Communications" practice group. He has been featured in articles published in USA Today, Forbes and Fortune magazines, and numerous national and local newspapers.