Alberto Gonzales, D. Kyle Sampson, Department of Justice, Litigatrix, Monica Goodling, Politics, U.S. Attorneys Offices, You Go Girl

Monica Goodling: Diva Is As Diva Does

Monica Goodling 5 Monica M Goodling Monica Gooding Alberto Gonzales Above the Law blog.jpgWe were planning to do a quick write-up on the Senate Judiciary Committee testimony of Kyle Sampson. But many such write-ups have already been done. And the Sampson testimony, while it had its moments, wasn’t quite as exciting as we were hoping.
So forget about the decidedly unglamorous Kyle Sampson, accurately described by Emily Bazelon as “sweaty, nervous, and soft-spoken.” Let’s talk about a more exciting and dynamic personality, the real breakout star of U.S. Attorney-gate to date:


Today brings two new, juicy profiles of Monica M. Goodling — one from the Washington Post, and one from the Harrisburg Patriot-News. They contain a lot of interesting material.
Discussion and links, after the jump.

The Washington Post piece, by Alan Cooperman, kicks off with a positively diva-licious anecdote:

When a college intern in the Justice Department whined that all he was doing was filing and answering phones, Monica M. Goodling took him aside. If he wanted to do “substantive work,” she told him, he was going to have to prove himself first.

The intern walked out of the office in a huff, and when he returned an hour later, Goodling took him aside again. “You’re fired,” she said.

“Some people in the office thought: ‘Wow! That was tough,’ ” said Mark Corallo, her former boss in Justice’s Office of Public Affairs, who recalled the incident. “But I thought, ‘Good for her.’ “

We couldn’t agree more. Move over, Donald Trump; Monica Goodling is walking the halls of justice.
Yes, she’s a bit young. But Goodling is well on her way towards joining the top tier of DOJ Divas, such as Alice Fisher and, of course, Shanetta Cutlar (who has been on her best behavior lately, or so we hear; that’s why we don’t have any new Shanetta stories for you).
On Monica Goodling’s diva-hood, see also:

To her detractors, Goodling was an enforcer of political loyalty who was not squeamish about firings — of interns or of senior officials.

“She forced many very talented, career people out of main Justice so she could replace them with junior people that were either loyal to the administration or would score her some points,” said a former career Justice official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing fear of reprisal.

For those of you who scoffed at Goodling’s law degree from Regent, founded by religious broadcaster Pat Robertson, here’s a tidbit worth noting:

Goodling enrolled in law school at American University, but transferred to Regent… Goodling and her lawyer declined to comment for this article, and classmates said they did not recall the reasons for her transfer. But “the curriculum at Regent is different from other law schools. There is an attempt by professors to integrate biblical principles into areas of the law,” said Dugan Kelley, who worked with Goodling on Regent’s moot court.

In addition, both the Post and Patriot-News cite sources who praise Goodling for her intellect, her work ethic, her leadership skills, and her engaging personality. Clearly she is an impressive and accomplished young woman.
So we know all about Goodling as a professional. What about the personal?
Goodling may be a high-powered career woman. But unlike, say, La Hillary, Monica embraces rather than disdains the domestic arts:

A friend and former department co-worker, Susan Richmond Johnson, said Goodling was also an amateur photographer and world-class baker of desserts

YUM!!! We’re sure the Rev. Pat Robertson would be proud.
Finally, a quick quasi-correction. In a previous post, we mentioned reader speculation that Goodling, a native of York County, Pennsylvania, was related to a former Republican congressman from York County, Rep. Bill Goodling (R-PA).
As it turns out, this speculation is incorrect. Per Brett Lieberman of the Patriot-News:

Former Rep. Bill Goodling doesn’t think he’s related to Monica Goodling.

“She is apparently very bright and the president of her class and I wish I could say she got her brilliance from me, but I don’t believe she’s related to my family,” said Bill Goodling, who represented York County in Congress until his retirement in 2000.

Good stuff. But our favorite quote from the article comes from Goodling’s mom:

“She hasn’t really done anything,” Goodling’s mother, Cindy Fitt of Osceola Mills, told the Associated Press. “But she is not talking to me about it, needless to say.”

“Monica’s not going to do anything wrong,” Fitt said. “Monica has very high standards.”

Bush Loyalist Rose Quickly at Justice [Washington Post]
WHO IS MONICA GOODLING? [Harrisburg Patriot-News]
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Monica Goodling (scroll down)

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