by Max Brantley
Last week, flyers bound from Washington to Little Rock missed a connecting flight in Memphis.
A group of five got together to rent a car for the final leg of the trip to Arkansas. At the wheel of the Explorer: Tim Griffin, former interim U.S. attorney in Little Rock. Riding shotgun: U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor’s chief of staff, Bob Russell. Among the backseat passengers: Michael Teague, Pryor’s communications chief.
If you didn’t already know, Pryor’s opposition was important in the eventual withdrawal of Griffin's nomination to hold the U.S. attorney's job on a permanent basis. The appointment was part of a broader controversy about politicization of Justice Department appointments by the Bush administration.
I'm told that the riders were able to joke about the bygones. Other passengers included Dean Elliott, the Dillard's lobbyist and former state legislator. Also in the car was a former Church of Christ minister who recounted meeting and marrying a Bourbon Street stripper. Better than a Senate confirmation story any day.
Griffin is now a consultant for a Washington firm, but remains a Little Rock resident while traveling frequently.