Greg Craig first came to the Vineyard at the invitation of his future wife, Derry Noyes, for the end of summer 1973. A year later they came back for their honeymoon. As you might expect, it was a time of high excitement.

“We were married on July 27,” he recalled on Sunday, sitting on the lawn of the family place at Menemsha, “Three or four of the guests couldn’t make it because they were staffing the judiciary committee, which was taking votes on the articles of [President Richard Nixon’s] impeachment.

“The hearings were very exciting, so a good deal of time on our honeymoon was spent watching the judiciary committee hearings.”

Thirty-four years later, he’s still married to the same woman, who smilingly brings cold drinks out under the trees. His other passions, for the law and politics also endure. He is, it seems, a man who picks quick and sticks fast.

He has done a lot of things in his professional life, but there is also constancy: his wife and family (a bewildering number of whom wandered in and out during this interview), the half-century old home at Menemsha (which was built in just a couple of weeks by her father, the renowned architect and industrial designer Eliot Noyes, and appears decidedly not to be a trophy home). And certain principles. Liberal principles.

“I grew up under the influence of John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy, and always believed in service, and admired people who gave it,” he said.

Which is why these days Mr. Craig is a fund-raiser, foreign policy adviser and sometime self-described surrogate for Barack Obama.

Mr. Craig joined the Washington law firm Williams and Connolly after finishing Yale law school (he earlier attended both Harvard and Oxford). He is a partner there today.

“Edward Bennett Williams,” he said, “was the great lawyer of our generation. He would represent anyone and everyone, because he believed in everyone’s right to a defense.”

Likewise, Mr. Craig has represented people you wouldn’t want to, as he puts it, run for President.

He also has represented both a president and a man who shot a president.

The shooter was John Hinckley Jr., who fired six shots at Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981.

“The Hinckley case,” Mr. Craig recalled, “came to Vince Fuller at the law firm. He was the senior lawyer, I was sort of the junior partner.

“It was a four-week trial and I was very much engaged. It was one of the most exciting cases, and there’s not a red-blooded American lawyer, whatever his politics, who would not be interested in that case, because of the insanity defense. There was a good deal of exciting evidence, not just psychiatric, but lay evidence that John was mentally disturbed.”

They won. Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity.

And the president he represented, of course, was Bill Clinton.

Mr. Craig already knew the Clintons. He graduated from Yale in the same class. He had even been sounded out in 1996 for a job as White House counsel, although it was eventually decided he should not take the position.

He did not think it appropriate, given that his firm represented the Clintons personally. Better to have someone who would “represent the institution of the presidency and the White House,” he said.

But impeachment proceedings began two years later, and he was called in to act as quarterback for the defense.

“They wanted someone who knew the political team, who knew the legal team . . . who knew the president.

“I did that from September 1998. He came up here right after he testified in August, to the grand jury and I agreed to go over around Sept. 7, the date of the special counsel’s report, stayed through the trial and returned to my law firm in March 1999,” he said.

Defending the president, however, cut short his tenure in what he called his dream job, working for Secretary of State Madeleine Albright

“I was director of her policy planning staff in 1997-98, which was sort of the think tank inside the State Department, the purpose of which was to be counter-intuitive, to challenge conventional wisdom, to think beyond the horizon.

“It was a really terrific job. I got to travel with the secretary all over the world. I had a staff of 17, 18 hard working policy wonks. We were focusing on energy issues, the Caspian, Pakistan, the former Soviet space.”

There were other high profile clients and cases: Richard Helms, the director of the CIA, who was convicted of lying to Congress over the agency’s role in removing Chile’s communist elected President Allende; the Victor Posner tax avoidance case; the custody battle over Elian Gonzalez, which pitted the boy’s Cuban father against his Florida parents. And many others, too numerous to detail, beyond some of the names involved: Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Panamian dictator Manuel Noriega.

But it was not all high-profile work. He also worked as a federal public defender, representing “your ordinary bank robbers, arsonists, illegal gun dealers and so on.”

The common thread: that everyone has a right to representation.

Lawyers get attacked for this, of course; they are accused of hiring themselves out like taxicabs to anyone who will pay the fare.

But Mr. Craig’s underlying principles are there and they are liberal Democratic.

He worked for Senator Kennedy for five years, until December 1988, establishing what he modestly calls an appearance of expertise in foreign relations and national security policy.

“Once you start working for Ted Kennedy, you do so for your entire life. And I have, and continue to, happily,” he said.

His time with Madeleine Albright added to that.

Now fast forward to current politics and Mr. Craig’s early, enthusiastic support for Senator Obama, something which might appear surprising, given his long association with the Clintons.

“It wasn’t a choice to reject the Clintons,” he explained. “It was a choice to embrace what Barack Obama represented and who he was, what he could do for the country.

“Vernon Jordan — another Islander — introduced me to Barack at his house in Washington D.C. in November 2003, when Barack was a state senator running for the [federal] Senate.

“When I told Vernon I couldn’t be supporting every single state senator who wanted to be senator, he told me ‘No, you don’t have to give him any money. Just come over. We need some bodies.’

“So I went over, there must have been 30 or 40 people. Michelle was there and Barack spoke to us and I was very impressed. I gave him some money and called my friends in Chicago and said if you haven’t heard about this guy, look him up.

“And he got elected, and then I found he’d written a book called Dreams from My Father and I read that, and I was blown away by it. I thought it a huge literary achievement. I learned a lot about my own life just reading about his.

“I grew up in the civil rights period and I went to Mississippi and worked in Harlem. This business about how blacks and whites work through their differences is something his whole life has been thinking about.

“Then I started seeing and hearing some of the speeches he was giving. I was impressed with a speech he gave at the [2005] Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award.

“I was sitting next to [writer/director] George Stevens and George looked at me and said, ‘I haven’t heard anyone like that since Bobby [Kennedy].’

“George was a very old and close friend of Bobby Kennedy. He said ‘Why doesn’t he run?’

“As far as I’m concerned, he was the first person who put Barack Obama as President of the United States in my mind — not just for the future, but for 2008. I said, ‘Sign me up.’

“The day after he announced I said I’d do whatever he wanted me to do.”

And he has. He has raised funds. He has appeared as a surrogate in the media and at functions, and now is a member of Senator Obama’s team of foreign policy advisors.

“It’s a huge challenge,” he said “to sit across the table from him and tell him something he does not already know. He is so smart and well read, it’s no easy thing to do.”

Mr. Craig was with him on his recent tour of Europe and the Middle East, a visit which only confirmed his view that if Mr. Obama is not elected, it will be seen as a tragedy not just by many Americans, but by the rest of the world.

“He got head of state treatment. Two hundred thousand people came out to see him in Berlin. Some people criticize this, but I think the American people are actually grateful to have someone running who is so clearly respected, if not revered, by the rest of the world.”

But do Americans really care what the world thinks?

“Well, our polling inside the campaign suggests they do,” he said, adding though that he no longer believes foreign policy will be the central focus of the election.

“I think it’s illustrative of where the Obama campaign is that after nine days abroad, establishing beyond any real doubt his capacity to function on the world stage, he came back and immediately moved to the economy.

“That reflects exactly where the issues are moving.”

But foreign affairs will remain a big part of the early Obama policy action, if he wins.

For a start, said Mr. Craig, President Obama would not wait, as his two predecessors have, until the last couple of years of office to begin working on the key issue in international relations, the one which affects all the other foreign policy threats America faces — the Israel and Palestine situation.

And for those interested in hearing more of what an Obama Presidency would bring, and with the $500 to $2,300 to afford to hear it, Mr. Craig will be guest speaker at a cocktail party and reception to raise funds for the campaign Wednesday at the Field Gallery in West Tisbury. The event runs from 5 to 7 p.m.