Ms. Miers has long and close ties to President Bush, both in Texas and the White House. The Washington Post had a background article on her last June:
Miers's reticence is not to be mistaken for a lack of assertiveness or ambition. Rather, friends and associates say, it reflects her scrupulous discretion and selflessness -- the same qualities that propelled her rise through the legal ranks and into President Bush's inner circle.As White House Counsel to the President, Meirs was the key administration offical charged with vetting possible Supreme Court nominees. Is this nomination an echo back to when Dick Cheney, tasked for vetting possible Bush running mates, got the nod? Long ago, President Bush also had this to say about Miers: "When it comes to a cross-examination," Mr. Bush said, "she can fillet better than Mrs. Paul" ? a reference to the purveyor of frozen fish.
Miers's low-key but high-precision style is particularly valued in a White House where discipline in publicly articulating policy and loyalty to the president are highly valued. Formerly Bush's personal lawyer in Texas, Miers came with him to the White House in 2001 as staff secretary, the person who screens all the documents that cross the president's desk. She was promoted to deputy chief of staff before Bush named her counsel after his reelection in November. She replaced Alberto R. Gonzales, another longtime Bush confidant, who was elevated to attorney general.
When he was governor of Texas, Bush offered a less formal assessment at an awards ceremony, calling Miers "a pit bull in size 6 shoes."The line stuck, in no small part because it described her cool but dogged determination.
Miers met Bush in the 1980s, and was drafted to work as counsel for his 1994 gubernatorial campaign. In 1995, he appointed her to the Texas Lottery Commission. After working as a lawyer in Bush's presidential campaign, she came to Washington with him in 2001.
Born and raised in Dallas, Miers, 59, is a graduate of Southern Methodist University, where she majored in mathematics. She went on to law school at SMU, earning her law degree in 1970 and going on to clerk for a federal judge in Dallas. In an era when there were few female lawyers, Miers set out for the top.
How will this sit with conservatives? With Dems?
Already ,we can hear Ann Coulter scream: OH NO! NOT AGAIN! Talk about lack of a paper trail! Meirs' views are known only to the President, and some on the right are a tad concerned with the lack of solid and demonstrable conservative credentials exhibited by Chief Justice Roberts. The same will be said of Meirs. The folks at Confirm Them are already burning their Republican Party membership cards.
However, her work in the Counsel's Office brought her into close contact with members of the United States Senate, particularly the Judiciary Committee which will oversee her nomination. In the hours and days ahead, we'll see how Democrats with personal experience with Meirs reflect on that relationship. CNN is apparently reporting (sorry, I refuse to watch it... go look for yourself) that Meirs is on a list of candidates that would NOT be filibustered.
Will this pick be the "balance" that Dems demanded? Or will that "balance" push conservatives off the deep end? Stay tuned!
More Information here:
Interesting online "Ask the White House" session Meir's hosted as White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy.
Washington Post June profile
Dallas Morning News March profile
And of course, for the latest, see our friends at Confirm Them.