Tuesday, November 27, 2007

George's Guardian Grandmother

From Robert Draper's new book, Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush:

Harriet Miers, the staff secretary, understood her boss's penchant for exactitude and enforced it with relish. . . . While other senior staffers judged speeches for content or rhetorical effectiveness, Miers would fire back distinctly protective comments: Would the president feel comfortable going out on such a limb? Had he ever said anything quite like this before?. . . .

When the president expected something, it had to be there. Which meant late hours. Insane hours. Harriet Miers was always in by six in the morning. Always still there at eight in the evening. Usually much later. And weekends—those, too. She'd go to church on Sunday, then over to the White House. After all, she reasoned, things were happening in the world 24 hours a day. Always events that generated documents, which the president needed to see the following morning. When a nagging issue arose, she generally avoided calling staffers at home at night, interrupting their family lives. She would endeavor to do the research herself. This approach, she told herself, was the more efficient method.