Harriet Miers is only the latest powerful woman in the Bush administration to move into the spotlight. Over the past five years, President Bush has made a habit of revising the old adage "behind every great man is a great woman" by putting those great women right beside him.
Miers joins a select group of trusted women the president has elevated to powerful positions.
President Bush says, "She's an enormously accomplished person."
Others feel the president is promoting equality. “He’s very comfortable with strong women, and he has promoted women because I believe he thinks as a father of daughters that women should have an equal place in our society,” says Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas). Hutchison is a longtime friend of the president.
Who are all the President's women?
Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice
Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings
During Bush's first term, Spellings served as Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, where she helped craft education policies, including the No Child Left Behind Act. She was also responsible for the development and implementation of White House policy on health, labor, transportation, justice, housing, and other elements of President Bush's domestic agenda. Prior to her White House appointment, Spellings worked for six years in Texas as Governor George W. Bush's Senior Advisor with responsibility for developing and implementing the governor's education policy. Her work included the Texas Reading Initiative, the Student Success Initiative to eliminate social promotion, and the nation's school assessment and accountability system.
Ambassador Karen Hughes
Perhaps nobody is closer to the president than Karen Hughes — one-time counselor to the president and now an ambassador charged with reshaping America's image in the Muslim world. Hughes leads efforts to improve America’s dialogue with the world, participates in policy development and oversees three bureaus at the Department of State: Educational and Cultural Affairs, Public Affairs, and International Information Programs. She previously served as an advisor to President Bush for more than 10 years. As Counselor to the President for his first 18 months in the White House, she was involved in major domestic and foreign policy issues, led the communications effort in the first year of the war against terror, and managed the White House offices of communications, media affairs, speech writing and press secretary. She served as Director of Communications during the President’s six years as governor of Texas, and was the communications director for his 1994 and 1998 gubernatorial campaigns and his 2000 presidential campaign.
Harriet Miers, Counsel to the President
“These women have been loyal. They have been totally 100 percent with no agenda but to make him a great governor and a great president,” says Hutchison.
Miers, like many close to the president, has worked by Mr. Bush's side as he built his political career. All are strong minded and unafraid to voice their opinions — not unlike the women in the president's own family.
First Lady Laura Bush said during a recent interview on the “Today” show, “I would really like for him to name another woman.”
Presidential observers say the trust placed in these women is not political pandering but a show of true support for their abilities — an image at odds with the caricature of a backslapper and former frat boy.
Slate.com political correspondent John Dickerson says, “No matter what people may think of this president or the job that these individual women have done in the positions they have, it's clear the president has put them in those positions and kept them there and given them power because he believes in their merit.”
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