October 13, 2005

Good Info on Miers for a Change

Amy Goldstein and Peter Baker have prepared an excellent article detailing many positive attributes of Harriet Miers taken from her peers in the White House and elsewhere. She was regarded as a perfectionist and also Bush's closest aide. Here are some snippets from the article:

"The thing about Harriet is, it wasn't about Harriet," said Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, a friend. "To her, it was a matter of moving the grist through the mill. . . . She was a manager of the process."

Unlike some high-level presidential aides, Miers has never sought to advance her own views. Amid the clash of ideas and egos in the West Wing, colleagues say, she has been an island of reserve and decorum. "She blushes when the rest of us got a little raunchy," said Spellings, who worked with her closely as Bush's domestic policy adviser.

At staff meetings, Miers spoke up only when she considered it essential. "There were plenty of us banging around with very strong views on issues, and she understood she was wearing the striped shirt," said Indiana Gov. Mitchell E. Daniels Jr. (R), who was Bush's first budget director. "A word from Harriet would calm everybody down. She did have that schoolmarm voice."

It's good to know that in the ego-filled capitol, Miers remained modest, yet her voice and opinions were still respected. That's saying quite a bit.
As staff secretary, Miers was the last person to handle every piece of paper that went to Bush, and, with scores of employees, it was her task to make sure each document was accurate and ready for the president's eyes. The papers ranged from correspondence to bills Bush was signing into law to memos synthesizing policy recommendations from White House and agency staff. Early every evening, she delivered to the president's residence in the East Wing a binder consisting of his schedule for the following day and tabbed sections that contained background material on the people and issues he would face. Fleischer called it "a perfectionist's job."
It seems she is a perfectionist who seeks to make sure that every "i" is dotted and every "t" is crossed.
Miers played the quiet arbitrator. David W. Hobbs, the former White House director of legislative affairs, said he got calls from Miers "at 10 or 11 at night that [presidential counselor] Karl [Rove] or another White House staffer wanted the president to do something, but she wanted to check and make sure I was aware of it and didn't think it was going to cause damage on the legislative front."

Her work habits were legendary. Almost every Sunday, Miers went to the office after church, said Spellings, who says she cannot recall ever being at the White House when Miers was not there -- unless she was traveling with Bush. "She'd always read memos through again," said Kristen Silverberg, a former domestic policy adviser who is now an assistant secretary of state. "She'd be at the building till late at night reading everything to make sure everything was perfect."

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.), a friend from Texas, said Miers's life outside work is "not much. She works all the time." Occasionally, they have attended a ballet or opera, Hutchison said, adding, "I tried to get together with her several times, but she ended up having to cancel."

Many colleagues admired Miers's zealous work ethic, and her skill at balancing competing interests within the administration. "She was an impeccably honest broker and accurate conveyor of information to the president with no spin or distortion," said budget director Joshua B. Bolten, who was Bush's first deputy chief of staff for policy.

It would seem that she holds a very strong work ethic and is very detail oriented, which are both qualities you'd expect from a Supreme Court Justice. The article also mentions the fact that she was involved in some Constitutional decisions:
Last February, she moved into the counsel's office, returning to her roots as a lawyer. She has, the current staff secretary, Brett M. Kavanaugh said, handled constitutional-level matters, including issues involving executive privilege, the review of the USA Patriot Act and the National Security Council.
One thing that has really disturbed conservatives about this nomination is that we know nothing about this woman. Perhaps the reason we don't know much is because Miers doesn't have the need to boost her own ego. According to her peers she is both capable and intelligent in her duties. After reading Dr. Dobson's comments and this article I must admit I may have been mistaken about this woman's capability. Harriet Miers was willing to accept the challenge when others decided they couldn't take the heat of leading the highest court in the land back to the constructionist state in which it belongs. I've always been one willing to admit my own mistakes. If we can't admit mistakes then how can we possibly achive wisdom?

"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool."
-- William Shakespeare

Have we been playing the part of the fool on this nomination? In some ways I belive I have.

Posted by everyman at October 13, 2005 06:00 AM | TrackBack
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