Harriet MiersIn 2005, one woman took an action that could have positive ramifications on this country for decades. That woman was Harriet Miers, who asked the President to withdraw her nomination to the Supreme Court last October. In my book, she is easily the best candidate for woman of the year.
As readers of this blog will know, I was no fan of the Miers nomination, but I do not offer my choice as some kind of back-handed compliment. Her actions last October demonstrated selflessness, graciousness, and dignity. Pure and simple.
Once nominated, Miers could have forced the issue all the way through to a Senate vote. She could have tenaciously clung to the opportunity to be a Supreme Court Justice, even as the poll numbers for the President plummeted. Most people in her position would have put their own ambition and self-interest first, regardless of the ramifications on others. Miers did not do that. Instead, she sacrificed her own interests for the good of the country. Few people would be so decent and noble.
Miers soon did the country another good turn. Within hours of resigning, she put personal considerations aside, for a second time, and she helped the President to select her replacement. Next week, the Senate will hold hearings for this second, eminently qualified Supreme Court nominee, Samuel Alito.
Finally, to top it all off, Miers took an action that few will know about, but which I witnessed. In mid-November, I attended a dinner in Washington, D.C., hosted by the Federalist Society. The event was packed with hundreds of conservative lawyers who had opposed the Miers nomination. Harriet Miers walked into this lion's den, and she stayed for the duration of the dinner. She was resolute, gracious, and dignified. Few at the dinner left doubting that Miers is a classy lady who puts her country and her President first.
The world would be a better place if more people were to behave in the selfless fashion that Miers did this year.