Monday, November 5, 2007

Six Degrees of Rob Riley

My wife deserves credit for a good line last night.

I was telling her about Scott Horton's post on the Alabama Supreme Court's ExxonMobil ruling, the one that shafted the state out of $3.6 billion in punitive damages. (I hope Mr. Horton appreciates the fact that he is at the heart of dinnertime conversation at our house.) Horton wrote that his sources say Alabama Governor Bob Riley had forced the lead law firm representing Alabama in the ExxonMobile case to engage the services of a second law firm, one with ties to his son, Rob Riley.

The first firm, which had been hired by former governor Don Siegelman, had seemed to be handling the case quite well, garnering a massive judgment on the state's behalf. But in another example of Bob Riley's questionable ethics, he evidently forced a second firm into the action. All evidently in order to benefit Rob Riley, who seems to pop up everywhere.

"You know," I told my wife, "Rob Riley is like one of those pimples that just won't go away. You think you've got it beat, but you wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and see this crater on your chin. It stares back at you and says, 'Hi, I'm Rob Riley.'"

Well, she topped me in the metaphor department. "He sounds like that six degrees of Kevin Bacon deal," she said. "You know, where Kevin Bacon has been in so many movies that almost everybody in Hollywood history can be tied to Kevin Bacon in some way."

She's right. Rob Riley is the Kevin Bacon of Alabama politics. But we owe sincere apologies to Mr. Bacon. He has been in some excellent movies. Hard to tell what Rob Riley has accomplished, other than riding daddy's coattails and having his highly suspect affidavit torn apart by Artur Davis in Congress.

But let's give the missus credit for coining the term: Six Degrees of Rob Riley. Has an interesting ring to it.

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