Harriet hearts George

George W. Bush's Supreme Court nominee thinks the president is too cool for school.

Published October 11, 2005 3:47PM (EDT)

For several days now we've been scratching our heads over George W. Bush's promise that Harriet Miers would act as something like his proxy on the Supreme Court, ruling exactly how he might rule on cases and controversies over the next 20 years. How could Bush be so sure? we wondered. But now we may have our answer: Bush knows that Miers will do his bidding because she's told him he's da bomb, as they used to say when we were in school. Miers put it another way: Bush, she wrote in one of several love-struck, googly-eyed letters excerpted in this morning's New York Times, is "the greatest!" Not just that, but Miers -- whose hairstyle suggests she knows well of what she speaks -- found Bush "cool," too. She added: "All I hear is how great you and Laura are doing ... Texas is blessed."

The letters, which were made public by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, reveal nothing about the sharpness of Miers' judicial mind. But they do suggest she's well-schooled in another, arguably more profitable skill, kissing up: Her praise for Bush is effusive, even fulsome; everything he does elicits embarrassing giggles of approval from his friend Harriet.

Politicians may meet children all the time, but when Bush does it, it's special. "I was struck by the tremendous impact you have on the children whose lives you touch," she told him once. Another time she wrote to thank him "for taking the time to visit in the office and on the plane back -- cool!" Then there was this: In a greeting card she sent to Bush in 1997, Miers wrote, "Hopefully Jenna and Barbara recognize that their parents are 'cool' -- as do the rest of us."

If this sort of praise sounds hollow and unctuous to you, you're not like George W. Bush, who appears to have been quite receptive to Miers' serenades. As he once put it: "When it comes to cross-examination, Harriet can fillet better than Mrs. Paul."

By Farhad Manjoo

Farhad Manjoo is a Salon staff writer and the author of True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society.

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