ANALYSIS: Profile - Cheney's mouthpiece speaks softly butstrongly - A product of many GOP campaign battles, Juleanne Glover Weisshas stepped into one of the brightest DC spotlights in her work as VicePresident Dick Cheney's press secretary

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

for Cheney.'

(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

information available.

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

York journalists.

'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

on it.'

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.


1992: Bush/Quayle legislative aide

1993: Project for a Republican Future legislative director

1996-1999: Sen. John Ashcroft legislative aide and Presidential campaign

press secretary

2000: Rudolph Giuliani Senatorial campaign press secretary

2000: Steve Forbes Presidential campaign press secretary

2001: White House press secretary to Vice President Dick Cheney.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in