Reading The Pictures: Door Stop

10/07/2005 01:57 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011





Certainly, you've heard about speed dating, and how people form fixed impressions of others within a matter of seconds. Malcolm Gladwell put a whole book together describing these intuitive kinds of reactions. Just as notions of character form rapidly in individuals, the same process (at just slightly slower speed) also occurs on a more collective basis. That's why Harriet Miers, now widely (if unfairly) perceived as a glorified secretary, has next-to-no chance to make a second first impression.

It's not surprising how this impression formed, however. Short of any discernible paper trail, what the visual record attests to is a woman who is identified primarily in terms of carrying Bush's baggage. You can see it in each of these shots of George and Harriet. Where it is really burned into the circuitry, however, is in this last shot, in which Miers helps Bush fill out personnel forms. (By the way, it was the White House that provided this level of "extra-menial" detail.)



As Miers attempts to move to the next level in her career, it appears her public persona is now fixed. The latest evidence was visually apparent this week on Capitol Hill. Except, it was not Bush she was waiting on. This time, she was left to wait for Senator Dubin and then Senator Grassley (with hardly a notice from the hired help).

For more of the visual, visit

image 1: Charles Dharapak/AP. White House. July 22, 2003 in Washington. A.P. image 2: Ron Edmonds/AP. Washington. October 3, 2005. A.P. image 3: Gerald Herbert/AP. White House. November 14, 2003. A.P. image 4: Eric Draper/AP/White House. January 22, 2001. White House. Yahoo News. image 5: REUTERS/Yuri Gripas. Washington October 4, 2005. YahooNews. image 6: REUTERS/Yuri Gripas. Washington October 6, 2005. YahooNews.