If you allow first impressions to dictate your opinion of Juleanne
Glover Weiss, you might decide that she is too quiet for her job, too
polite, and certainly too young.
But if you judge her by her resume, you would instead think she has a
penchant for controversy - or the ability to stop bullets. She's placed
herself between the media and the country's most vitriolic politicians:
Rudy Giuliani, John Ashcroft, and the legendarily unphotogenic Steve
Look at her life and you would be excused for thinking she was obsessed
with the need to 'have it all.' At 32, she's Vice President Dick
Cheney's press secretary, has two small children and a successful lawyer
husband on whom she heaps praise unabashedly 'He walks on water,' she
(Her brother-in-law is Qorvis CEO Mike Petruzello.)
In reality, Glover Weiss is a rare breed. As a native of the Washington,
DC area, she looks at the political world from a uniquely humble
She's made a life of it, but lacks the typical name-dropping,
anything-to-get-ahead mentality that so often characterizes her
Case in point: she is a great admirer of past press secretaries Marlin
Fitzwater and Mike McCurry - but chooses not to seek their advice.
'I still feel very 'junior,'' she says. 'Everyone (in Washington) tries
to reach higher than they are. I don't want to overreach.' A jolting
statement from someone who goes to work every morning in the White
As Cheney's chief mouthpiece, Glover Weiss sits at the helm of the VP's
small press operation. She reports directly to Mary Matalin, counselor
to the vice president, veteran conservative operative and someone Glover
Weiss calls 'quite a role model.' (The two know each other from their
days on Vice President Dan Quayle's staff.) Karen Hughes, director of
communications and longtime Bush advisor, hands down their marching
This chain of command says a lot about Glover Weiss' job. Compared to
most other press secretaries, the very objective of her job is
'We're supposed to attract publicity for the White House message.
Cheney's agenda is the president's agenda. The White House message of
the day is our message for the day. It's not about garnering publicity
(She might, however, want to consider raising awareness of her boss at
home. Her two-year-old son still thinks the vice president's name is
'Bush Cheney,' a name he picked up from the 2000 campaign ticket.)
There are, of course, the inevitable, rumor-fed questions she must
She shrugs off rumors that her boss, not President Bush, is the one
'running the show' at the White House. 'That's not something we worry
about at all,' she says. 'That's really just a creation of the
Washington press corps.'
When it comes to questions about Cheney's health, she points immediately
and unapologetically to the doctors. 'Physicians have answered every
possible question thrown at them. There is a tremendous amount of
My job is just to make sure they (the press) know where that information
When it comes to the press, her attitude rests somewhere between
admiration and indifference - appropriate for someone in her position.
As for the famously neurotic White House Press Corps, she says they are
'just like other reporters' - though she lights up at the mention of New
'Reporters from New York don't seem to understand things like
'off-the-record.' With them you have to assume you're always 'on.''
Something she learned during her Giuliani days.
But Glover Weiss has a reputation for being pleasant in even the
roughest public moments. William Kristol, editor of the conservative
Weekly Standard, sums up her style: 'She's able to be very aggressive on
behalf of her cause or her employer in a nice way.'
He should know - she learned it by watching him. After getting her feet
wet as a legislative aide on the Bush/Quayle campaign in '92, Glover
Weiss joined Kristol and Jim Pitts, the campaign's political director,
as their first hire at the Project for a Republican Future. The group,
with Kristol at the forefront, led a PR blitzkrieg to turn public
sentiment against the Clinton healthcare bill. Glover Weiss got to watch
Kristol become a nationally recognized figure and learned from him how
to deal with the press.
'Bill taught me that that the media was certainly not a hostile entity
and that some of the smartest people in town are reporters,' she
'It also takes a personal touch.'
'She learned a lot from being around Bill,' says Pitts. 'Bill's like the
happy warrior. He very rarely gets a scowl on his face; he says things
in good humor. Bill learned this along the way, and Juleanne picked up
In 1995, the Project for a Republican Future morphed into The Weekly
Standard. Glover Weiss stayed on and Pitts, sensing a great communicator
in his midst, asked her to become their director of publicity.
'One thing about Juleanne,' says Pitts, 'is that she can walk into any
room and start talking to anybody and have a conversation, and that
includes Bernie who's dead in the corner.'
He admits, however, that there is one exception: 'She doesn't like to be
the subject of things. It's not in her nature to sit down and toot her
own horn.' Sorry, Juleanne.
JULEANNE GLOVER WEISS
1992: Bush/Quayle legislative aide
1993: Project for a Republican Future legislative director
1996-1999: Sen. John Ashcroft legislative aide and Presidential campaign
2000: Rudolph Giuliani Senatorial campaign press secretary
2000: Steve Forbes Presidential campaign press secretary
2001: White House press secretary to Vice President Dick Cheney.