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October 27, 2009 2:03 PM

Is Ex-Shearman Associate Breaking into an Obama Boys' Club?

Posted by Brian Baxter

We were somewhat bemused this weekend to read a story in The New York Times that took President Barack Obama to task for running a White House like some kind of frat house--save for the keg stands and other extracurricular activities.

But the male-dominated, sports-centric atmosphere decribed by The Times clearly hit home with some people, including the new president of NOW, who said the accusations about a "boys' club" at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue were "troubling."

Was it just a coincidence that the same day The Times story appeared, the duffer-in-chief played a round with domestic policy adviser Melody Barnes, a former Shearman & Sterling associate. (Among those, including The Times itself, that picked up the story: The Business Insider's Erin Geiger Smith, herself a former Andrews Kurth and Chadbourne & Parke associate.)

Barnes began her career at Shearman but soon answered the siren song of government service. From 1995 until 2003, she served as chief counsel to the late U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Barnes then worked as executive vice president for policy at the Center for American Progress, a liberal-leaning think tank.

Obama, a former Sidley Austin summer associate, and Barnes hit the links at the Fort Belvoir Golf Club, just outside Washington, D.C. Located on an Army base in Virginia, the course has become a popular weekend haunt for the president.

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