The Washington Post

Warren Buffett’s secretary Debbie Bosanek defers to boss on tax plans


President Obama’s 2011 State of the Union address. (Charles Dharapak/Associated Press)

The face of the “Buffett Rule,” the tax policy President Obama is pushing, inspired by Buffett’s assertion that he shouldn’t pay a lower tax rate than his secretary does, says she doesn’t have anything to add to a tax-policy debate.

“Warren is the most brilliant man I’ve ever met, so I defer to his judgement,” says Bosanek, who is sitting in the first lady’s box at tonight’s State of the Union speech tonight. “I’ll just leave it at that.”

And as for her personal politics, she’s equally mum.

“I never discuss that,” she says. “But I have such great respect for the office of the president and for our country — really, any American citizen would be thrilled to get to do what I’m doing tonight.”

Instead of focusing on politics, the woman who started out working for a Buffett subsidiary as a 17-year-old fresh out of high school is just soaking in the excitement of the moment. She’s enjoying getting good-luck e-mails from her son, a college freshman, and friends back home in Omaha, where Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is based.

“I feel like I’m representing secretaries everywhere tonight.”


Special State of the Union Guests: A look at some of the guests honored at the annual State of the Union address since President Ronald Reagan introduced the practice in 1982.
Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.

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