To Sir, With Love

By MAUREEN DOWD

New York Times

October 12, 2005

WASHINGTON

W. was the best Harry ever had.

"You are the best Governor ever - deserving of great respect!" gushed Harriet Miers, then the Texas Lottery chief, to George W. Bush in 1997. The belated birthday card she sent her boss had a sheepishly eager puppy poking his head up and a poem that read: "This is the wish/That should have been sent/Before your birthday/Came and went."

According to a cache of mash notes released by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission in response to formal requests from The Times and other news organizations, Ms. Miers also told W. that he was "cool" and "the best!"; that he and Laura were "the greatest"; that Texas was "in great hands"; and that the governor should "keep up the great work. Texas is blessed."

Since there is no breathtaking Miers judicial record to pore over, I was eager to read more breathless Miers missives to a president she describes as the most brilliant man she has ever met. How could I get the notes from the White House, given how opposed Mr. Bush is to leaks? I called Scooter and Karl and they sent the secret documents right over.

August 2001 "Thank you so much for letting me bundle up and drag away the brush that you cut down today. And if I might add, Sir, I've never seen a man wield the nippers so judiciously. It was awesome! You are the best brush cutter ever!!"

September 2001 "I found out today that you handed down a decision for the White House mess to offer three different kinds of jelly with its P.B.&J. sandwiches. Sweet!! As you know, I'm the only member of the staff who eats three meals a day in the mess. Now I get to have a different type of jelly at every meal! The mess is blessed to have a president who cares so much. I know I'm probably just flattering myself, but I like to think that you are thinking of me, also. (Smile.)

"P.S. Can you believe Condi cares more about W.M.D.'s than P.B.&J.'s?"

April 2002 "I was worried that it could go unstated in the rush of business around here, but I just wanted to pause and say how amazing it is that, after doing so much for the American people already, you keep showing up for work most days. We have to come, but you choose to. You're the hardest-working president ever!!"

October 2002 "I'm not sure Condi has made the time to thank you herself, so I just wanted to say how much we appreciated the tickets to 'Madame Butterfly' on Saturday night. I wore my long black robe - I mean, opera cape. I just wish it had had that song from 'The Sound of Music' - I know you love it, too - 'Cream-colored ponies and crisp apple strudels. ...' You're one of my favorite things, sir!"

January 2003 "Just a quick note to say how cool it is that you picked Brownie to head FEMA. There's nothing like having someone you know and trust in a top job. Your gut is the best judge ever!!"

April 2004 "There is no other president who would have had the courage to allow torture, dude! (It's only too bad that Abu Ghraib rules out Alberto's chances of getting on the Supreme Court.) You are the best torturer ever!! xo, H."

June 2005 "Make sure you take a good, long vacation this summer! Last year, you only took two weeks. You are pushing yourself way too hard, Sir!!"

August 2005 "I've half a mind to come down there myself and chase that witch, Cindy Sheehan, off your property with an injunction!! Yours, with you in Christ, Harriet."

September 2005 "In all this fuss about that bad-girl buttinsky Katrina, no one else seems to have noticed - not even Karen - that you've achieved your bold vision of losing that seven pounds. That extra week of mountain biking was so much more important than people realize. You're the most chiseled commander in chief ever, and the most rad guitar player ever!!"

October 2005 "How can I thank you, Sir? I never, ever expected the Supreme Court. Phat! I hope Clarence doesn't make me watch 'Debbie Does Dallas' again. That movie is so anti-Texas! I miss you already!!

"But now I will be able to serve your interests - and those of your family - forever and ever. If there's another recount you need help with, count on me. They say I don't have experience, but I've had the experience of polishing the boots of the wisest ruler since Solomon. I may not know stare decisis, but I know when to be starry-eyed. I await your instructions, Master."