IN HIS WORDS

White House Usher Reflects On His Bosses

White House Chief Usher Gary Walters will retire this month.
White House Chief Usher Gary Walters will retire this month. (By Tina Hager -- White House)

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Chief White House Usher Gary Walters is retiring at the end of January. He has worked at the mansion since 1970 and for the past two decades has been in charge of the operation of the world's most famous residence. In an interview with C-SPAN's Brian Lamb that will air Sunday evening, Walters offered his reflections on the presidents and first ladies he has served. Some excerpts:

Richard Nixon: Quiet, extremely studious. I mean, he didn't become such a master of Chinese policy by rote.

Jimmy Carter: Tremendously smart, involved in minutia, almost to his detriment. . . . He was the one that liked to . . . walk around the grounds, and he wanted to know every tree, every plant, both the botanical name and the common name.

Bill Clinton: Workaholic. He was constantly working. And a memory that just caused all of us to wonder how in the world anybody could remember all the things he did.

President Bush : The steadfastness of his beliefs in what he's doing. . . . In his mind, this is the road to go down, and he has not wavered.

Laura Bush: Knows what she wants, but is . . . willing . . . to sit and look at something for a while before she makes a decision. She wants to have it right.

Hillary Rodham Clinton: Liked to work. She was a worker.

Nancy Reagan: The easiest person in the world to work for. Most people don't believe that when I tell them that.


© 2007 The Washington Post Company

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