Monday, Feb. 07, 2005

Michael Gerson

The President's Spiritual Scribe
For a White House speechwriter, coining flowery phrases for your boss is less important than accommodating his speaking style and deepest convictions. For Michael Gerson, 40, George W. Bush's chief scribe since the 2000 presidential campaign (he will become a policy adviser in the West Wing), breaking that code meant knowing as much about the New Testament as about Bush's Texas roots. That proved easy. The former journalist shares Bush's devout Christian faith and his view that the role of Providence in human affairs should be reaffirmed in the public square.

Though even some G.O.P. supporters have criticized the President for his regular religious references, such lines are not likely to disappear from his speeches. "Scrubbing public discourse of religious ideas," says Gerson, "would remove one of the main sources of social justice in our history."