Anyone wondering what passes for candor in the Bush White House could get a good sense from the documents released today about his relationship with then-Governor’s-Counsel Harriet Miers by the Texas State Library:
“You are the best governor ever – deserving of great respect,” Harriet E. Miers wrote to George W. Bush days after his 51st birthday in July 1997…Mr. Bush returned the admiration, the files show. After Ms. Miers’s birthday wishes, he wrote thanks and a “happy 52nd to you.” He added, “I appreciate your friendship and candor – never hold back your sage advice.”
Bush’s defense against charges from the right and the left that he’s out to fill a vacancy on the highest court in the land with a crony? Referencing the magazines that listed her as an uber-influential lawyer…based on her status as Bush crony. As Salon notes, this is just a circular argument:
…why did the National Law Journal consider Miers to be so “influential”? If the [National Law Journal] items posted at the pro-Miers site JusticeMiers.com are any indication, it wasn’t because she had a keen legal mind or some other qualification for the Supreme Court. It was, in large part, because she was so well connected, even then, to somebody named George W. Bush. Naming her to its 50 most influential women lawyers list in 1998, the NLJ said that Miers “is a big wheel in the big state of Texas, where she is chair of the Texas Lottery Commission and the personal attorney of Gov. George W. Bush.”…the NLJ named Miers to its 100 most influential lawyers list in 2000, it began by saying she was Bush’s personal attorney, that she had served as general counsel for Bush’s gubernatorial transition team, that she “handled background research, looking for possible red flags, during [the] early days of [Bush’s] 2000 presidential campaign,” and that Texas newspapers have suggested that she might be named attorney general or get some other “key administration post” if Bush were elected president.
That’s the fun thing about being President of the United States: You get to make whomever you want into someone influential, and then you get to give them wide-ranging power over the future of the country. That, and that chef who cooks whatever you want.