He was Washington’s consummate mediator, reaching the height of his quiet authority in the 1990s, when he was, with the possible exception of Hillary Clinton, President Bill Clinton’s closest advisor. He had Clinton’s ear for two terms as president, including his toughest times, when Clinton faced an investigation and impeachment over a relationship with a White House intern.
“The last thing he would ever do is betray a friendship,” Clinton said in 1996. “It’s nice to have a friend like that.”
Mr. Jordan died on March 1st at his Washington home. He was 85 years old. The death was confirmed by his daughter, Vickee Jordan. He refused to state the cause.
Mr. Jordan brought a harmonious manner and elegant style to the Beltway business, anchored in his youth in a housing project in the segregated south. He had the moral authority of a veteran of the civil rights movement – he nearly died in a shooting in 1980 by a would-be racist killer – and was adept at navigating corporate boardrooms and golf course fairways, as well as packed churches. of gospel.
There had been previous generations of Washington insiders giving advice from on the sidelines, including Tommy “the Cork” Corcoran, Bryce Harlow, Clark Clifford, Lloyd Cutler and Robert Strauss – Mr. Jordan’s mentor at the Akin Gump law firm. But a significant way in which Mr. Jordan differed from his predecessors were that he was among the few African Americans at the top of Washington’s power …