It may seem a little strange to some of you to be here to “swear-in” or “install” Paul McNulty as Deputy Attorney General because as we know he has been on the job, working hard for the American people for several months now.
But I appreciate this chance to celebrate and recognize the unique contributions he makes to this Department, as well as to acknowledge the sacrifices of Paul’s wife, Brenda.
When I think of Paul's career, I am reminded of The Giving Tree – a children's book about selflessness. The tree gives away his apples, and then his branches, then his trunk. Eventually he is reduced to a stump, which provides his friend a place to sit and rest. Throughout a life committed to public service, Paul has found new ways to give of himself for the benefit of others. And I suspect – having known him since the transition from the Clinton to Bush presidency – Paul has never asked for a thing in return.
What he’s received, however, is the lasting knowledge that his gifts have made a difference in the life of this great Nation.
In The Giving Tree, the young boy never thanks the tree for all of his gifts. Here, I’d like to depart from the metaphor. I know from experience that government service can be trying, and exhausting, and occasionally thankless – so before Paul has been reduced to a stump, “Thank you.” On behalf of every American who has benefited from your leadership, thank you for an entire career dedicated to serving others. And thank you and Brenda for choosing to return to Main Justice in this vital capacity.
In state government…in Congress…at the Justice Department…as U.S. Attorney…and now as Deputy Attorney General – whenever someone asks Paul to serve, he responds by asking “What more can I give?” I suspect that Brenda asks the same thing every time Paul comes home to discuss a new opportunity to answer the call of duty.
Paul’s strong sense of duty has inspired him to give whatever he can to preserve and protect the American dream for every citizen of this great Nation.
Whether he is prosecuting terrorists, ridding our neighborhood streets of gun violence and drug abuse, working to combat crimes that coarsen our sense of national character, such as child pornography or civil rights violations, or upholding the highest standards of public and corporate integrity…Paul’s work has always been tied to the notion that every American deserves an equal chance to pursue the opportunities of the American dream.
I am grateful that he has decided to continue serving this noble cause as Deputy Attorney General. Now, he is forever linked to the remarkable men and women who have served in this role through history – each of them called upon to keep watch over the cause of justice. Paul has inherited their mantle of service and stewardship, and with it the responsibility to stand guard during his turn on watch.
I am lucky to have him at my side as a partner and as a friend as we work together to ensure justice for all. And the American people are lucky that this man has, once again, given generously of his talents, his experience, his expertise, and his heart for the sake of every American who holds hope for a better future and faith in the opportunities of the American dream.