Israel Hernandez was nominated May 26, 2005, by President George W. Bush as Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Director General of the United States and Foreign Commercial Service. Immediately prior to his nomination, Hernandez served as Deputy Assistant to the President in the Office of the Senior Advisor, Karl Rove. Hernandez was confirmed by the Senate on October 7, 2005.
Hernandez worked under Rove in the Office of Strategic Initiatives.
"The President intends to nominate Israel Hernandez, of Texas, to be Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Director General of the United States and Foreign Commercial Service. Mr. Hernandez most recently served as Deputy Assistant to the President in the Office of the Senior Advisor. He previously served as Director for Voter Outreach in the Office of Strategy on the Bush-Cheney 2000 Campaign. Prior to this position, Mr. Hernandez served as Personal Travel Aide for then Governor George W. Bush. He earned his bachelor's degree from The University of Texas and his master's degree from Texas A&M University." --White House Personnel Announcement, May 26, 2005.
Former Rove aide Hernandez and Susan B. Ralston, Special Assistant to the President & Assistant to the Senior Advisor Karl Rove, testified before a separate federal grand jury "about grand jury testimony given on July 13 by Matthew Cooper, a reporter for Time magazine," David Johnston reported in the August 3, 2005, Washington Post. "Cooper has said that he testified about a July 11, 2003, conversation with Mr. Rove" in which the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame "was discussed."
Bush Familiy Values
"When George W. Bush got the itch to run for Texas governor, 22-year-old Israel Hernandez was the first guy he hired - to tote his bags, keep his Sharpie pen and dole out a steady supply of Altoid mints," the Associated Press reported May 9, 2002.
"Hernandez began serving the Bush family in the early 1990's, first as traveling personal secretary of sorts to gubernatorial candidate Bush, next as a live-in aide who often tended to the teenage twin daughters and then as a loyal 'foot soldier' who assumed full responsibility for an incomplete jury questionnaire that helped suppress the revelation of then Governor Bush's 1976 DUI offense.
"The Bush confidante was a long time beneficiary of the President's almost unprecedented adherence to the value of loyalty. At the same time, as Hernandez testified before the grand jury, he was likely well aware of the administration's frequently repeated vow to restore honesty and integrity to the executive branch," Philip Curtis wrote in the August 12, 2005, Booman Tribune.
"Hernandez first nosed around for a job with Bush in 1990 when the rumor mill said he might seek the Texas governor's office that year. That race never happened, so Hernandez, of Eagle Pass, continued at the University of Texas and picked up a degree in philosophy and government."
"In 1993, as Bush prepared for the 1994 gubernatorial race, Hernandez worked his way in for an interview with him in Dallas. The two clicked, as Bush recalled in his book A Charge to Keep. Hernandez scored big points by showing up early for the interview that led to his being one of the campaign's first employees. 'By showing up early, Israel Hernandez aced an important test,' Bush wrote, adding that the young man was always 'loyal and good- humored and professional and on time,'" Curtis cited from the Austin American Statesman.
- Israel Hernandez. Deputy Assistant to the President and Special Assistant to the Senior Advisor, Office of Strategic Initiatives, ProgressiveGovernment.org.
- Personnel Announcement, White House, May 26, 2005.
- Statement of Israel Hernandez, Nominee for the Position of Assistant Secretary for Trade Promotion and Director General of the United States and Foreign Commercial Service Before the Senate Committee On Commerce, Science, and Transportation, June 16, 2005.
Articles & Commentary
- Skip Hollandsworth, "Born to Run," Texas Monthly, May 1994.
- "Bush staffers well-versed in loyalty. Young aides move up career ladder," Associated Press (Columbia Daily Tribune), May 2, 2002.
- Elisabeth Bumiller, "Bilingual, So To Speak, But Halting," New York Times (Puerto Rico Herald), June 3, 2002.
- Dana Milbank, "Leaked Salary List Shows Bush's Highest-Paid Staff Is Mostly Male," Washington Post, July 13, 2004: "Israel Hernandez, who served as Bush's 'body' man in Texas, attending to the governor's corporeal needs, now earns $141,000 as senior adviser Karl Rove's deputy."
- Rush & Malloy, "Out of the closet & into sub-Cabinet?" New York Daily News, June 29, 2005: "President Bush isn't letting potential howls from the Christian right stop him from nominating an openly gay man as assistant secretary of commerce. ... Just in time for Pride Week, Bush has tapped longtime aide Israel Hernandez for the post, which also carries the title of director general of the United States and Foreign Commercial Service."
- susanhu, "Stakeout at the 'CIA Leak' Grand Jury," Booman Tribune, August 2, 2005.
- David Johnston, "2 Aides to Rove Testify in C.I.A. Leak Inquiry," Washington Post, August 3, 2005.
- "Gay former Rove aide testifies in Valerie Plame case," Advocate.com, August 3, 2005.