A Higher Loyalty
James Comey
Contributed by Jack Shields
Chapter 6

As a demonstration that he was heading in the right professional direction, Comey was in 2004 ascended to the position of the United States Attorney General, although in an acting capacity. It took sheer hard work, honesty and cultivation of enabling work ethic for Comey to ascend to this position. The administration of President Bush had seen the potential of this young man and it was difficult to dismiss the idea that he would become the substantive holder of the office. President Bush was a character that not so many people could manage to handle. However, if there was a skill that Comey had cultivated, it was handling people. In their diversity of personalities, Comey had a perfect understanding of handling people. Thus, it was not surprising that Comey managed to get along with President Bush. As he says, “Bush could be impatient, and it drove me nuts that he started things early, but I was struck by his strong, and occasionally devilish, sense of humor.” There were times when President Bush was tough on him, but he had to find ways to make sure that they were in good books. The experience allowed him to work towards achieving his goals. At one moment, Comey was bothered with the low morale in the White House.


As he climbed the ladders of leadership, Comey learned of the difficulties and hardships that public servants experience. As acting US Attorney General, Comey interacted with the staff at White House, and it is from here that he managed to understand the frustrations and morale problems that most government employees go through in the course of service delivery. The experience would later be useful to Comey in his administration at the FBI.

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