Saturday, September 19, 2009

Slater: Matt Latimer recalls Kay Bailey Hutchison 'purse boys' in new book 'Speechless'

By Slater, Dallas Morning News - Friday, September 18, 2009
AUSTIN — Former George W. Bush speechwriter Matt Latimer admits being enamored of Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison when he arrived as young staffer on Capitol Hill some years ago.
"I thought a tough-talking Texas woman would be an ideal Republican presidential candidate someday," he writes in his new book, Speechless, which goes on sale next week.
Then he met her.
In his book, Latimer gives an account of the day he suddenly found himself face to face with Texas’ senior senator and her two "purse boys" in an elevator at the Capitol. He writes that a friend got her shoe wedged in the door, delaying the elevator and visibly annoying Hutchison.
“As the elevator proceeded downward, the senator turned to her J. Crew aides. They were ‘the purse boys.’ That was the nickname staffers gave them because their job seemed to consist of carrying Sen. Hutchison’s purse around Capitol Hill. They also were known to drive her from her house to work — a distance of approximately two blocks. They were basically taxpayer-subsidized butlers.”
Latimer, who worked for Bush during his final two years in the White House, goes on write that as one of the aides quietly held her large purse, she started to fish through it. Then she issued a list of instructions.
“Now I want you to take my purse back to the office,” she said.
"Yes, senator,” the purse boy responded.
“Take the nail polish out and put it in the refrigerator.”
"Yes, senator.”
"Take the rest of the makeup out and put that in the refrigerator too."
"Yes, senator."
"Then put the purse by my desk."

The purse boy nodded dutifully, and Latimer and his friend, feeling uncomfortable, let Hutchison pass when the elevator door opened. “She did so regally, without a word to either of us, the purse boys following close behind. In those few minutes, my enthusiasm for KBH sunk to a previously unfathomable low,’’ he writes.

Hutchison plans to quit the Senate soon to run for governor against GOP incumbent Rick Perry. Her camp did not return a call Friday seeking comment.
But the book’s Devil-Wears-Prada moment is not exactly attention Hutchison needs as she combats Perry and his re-election role as Mr. Populist.
Read more in the Dallas Morning News

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