A White House counsel known for her shoes

President Barack Obama meets with senior advisors in the Oval Office, June 15, 2012. Participating are: Chief of Staff Jack Lew; Senior Advisor David Plouffe; Counsel to the President Kathryn Ruemmler; Counselor to the President Pete Rouse; Rob Nabors, Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs; Director of Communications Dan Pfeiffer; and Mark Childress, Deputy Chief of Staff for Planning. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama meets with senior advisers in the Oval Office in 2012, including  Counsel to the President Kathryn Ruemmler, fourth from left. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

It may say more about Washington than White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler that she’s known in the West Wing for her fabulous shoes.

Ruemmler first attracted attention for her glam heels as a Justice Department prosecutor trying Enron executives Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling in 2006, when she sported what The Wall Street Journal described as "stunning 4-inch bright pink stiletto spikes."

A legal affairs blog "Above The Law," called her a "star litigatrix" as a result. "Litigatrix indeed," the blog wrote. "Just because you work for the DOJ doesn’t mean you have to shop at DSW."

Now, she wears Manolo Blahniks and Christian Louboutins into the Oval Office.

One of Ruemmler's pairs has a jeweled paisley pattern; another is black and strappy. We tried to get a photo from the White House showing one of these exceptional pairs; instead we got this shot of her in a senior staff meeting with the president, revealing a conventional pair of heels.

When White House Council of Economic Advisers chairman Alan B. Krueger briefs the senior staff on how consumer confidence has risen, according to White House communications director Jennifer Palmieri, aides routinely inquire whether Ruemmer has gone shopping.

“Her shoe buying can move markets,” Palmieri quipped.

Juliet Eilperin is a White House correspondent for The Washington Post, covering domestic and foreign policy as well as the culture of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. She is the author of two books—one on sharks, and another on Congress, not to be confused with each other—and has worked for the Post since 1998.
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