04 October 2005

Bush's 'work' wife....

From the beginning of George W. Bush's presidency, his professional life has been so closely intertwined with Harriet Miers' that some White House insiders jokingly refer to her as the president's "work wife." And she was the lawyer whom Bush trusted to handle some of his most sensitive and important tasks, even before he entered the Oval Office.

Born and raised in Dallas, educated at Southern Methodist University and deeply involved in her evangelical Christian church, Harriet Ellan Miers is a child of Texas, and her roots there run parallel to those of the president who nominated her to the Supreme Court.

As governor of Texas, Bush chose her to take over a financially troubled state lottery commission. When questions arose in the 2000 presidential campaign about favoritism in the Texas Air National Guard, Bush tapped Miers to handle the problem.

After they left Texas for Washington following the 2000 presidential election, Miers assumed such an insider role that in 2001 it was she who handed Bush the crucial "presidential daily briefing" hinting at terrorist plots against America just a month before the Sept. 11 attacks.

And this year it was Miers who brought word to the president that Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was retiring, it was Miers who interviewed potential successors and told others they were passed over, and Miers who ended up winning the nomination herself.

Presenting her with a legal award (Bush loves awards), he quipped that "when it comes to a cross-examination, she can fillet better than Mrs. Paul." During visits to the president's ranch near Crawford, Texas, she has been known to grab a chain saw and help clear brush.

"Harriet wanted to run the Lottery Commission. Harriet likes to run everything she gets near," Wood said. "She is very driven. She may be wrong, but she is never in doubt…. She is a control freak."

When Bush was elected president in 2000, Miers was named his assistant and staff secretary. She read and approved virtually every piece of paper that crossed his desk. She later was promoted to assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff, and in February became White House counsel.

And we have the same old theme song for this presidency.... "Let the circle be un-bro-ken".

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