October 31st, 2007
10:05 AM ET
15 years ago

Hughes to exit State Department

Hughes is a longtime Bush adviser.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Long-time Bush adviser Karen Hughes will leave her post as undersecretary of state at the State Department in mid-December, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced Wednesday.

Hughes served as undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs since her appointment to the post in March 2005, and was charged with running the State Department's campaign to "win the hearts and minds of the Muslim world."

In September of that year, Hughes traveled throughout the Middle East as part of what she dubbed a "listening tour" to repair America's image among Muslims. But it was a tough sell, and many Arabs criticized her for what they called her lack of understanding of the region.

Full story

- CNN's Elise Labott and Charley Keyes contributed to this report

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. Keith Franklin, Tn

    This lady was a Bush wacko supporter from way back. She found out pretty quick that every other country doesn't worship Bush as she thought they would. Her accomplishments-ZERO!!....going on Fox News to berate "liberals"-useless and divisive!!

    What wisdom and advice did Hughes give to other countries that became newsworthy????....That's right!...NONE

    Where does all these Bush wacko advisors go after quitting before their work is done? Is there some secret compound they go to and watch Bush newsreels...esp...Mission Accomplished....

    I will be so glad that this country will be rid of so many divisive people from the Bushie regime.

    Did she ever make it to the front lines in Iraq?

    October 31, 2007 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  2. jfz, napa, ca

    Hopefully the person who advised Bush to wave like a Bozo each time he gets on or off a plane will be leaving out the same door before it slams shut!

    October 31, 2007 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  3. C. K. Justus WI

    It is about time we stopped that outflow of salary and expenses to help the budget get balanced and the massive national debt from growing. I know it is minuscule but every little bit helps.
    What did she do anyway but draw a salary and run up expenses along with secret service protectin, personal aides, flying around the world, and other support, probably a 4 or 5 million a month.

    October 31, 2007 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  4. SNS, Los Angeles, CA

    Ironically, Bush just stated yesterday day that we have "the worst Congress in 20 years" and that "they are not getting the job done." Oh really!? And how does he propose to get his work done with all his advisors leaving him and a 26% approval rating? Worst president ever!

    October 31, 2007 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  5. Pat, Salem VA

    Another Bushey crony bites the dust. While you're at it, Karen, why not take Condi, Dick and W with you. I can assure you it would be greatly appreciated and none of you would even be missed...GUARANTEED!!!

    October 31, 2007 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  6. Pam Dubuque IA

    To send her to the Middle East when she had no understanding of the region is par for the Bush Adminstration! It just reiterates the thought process or lack thereof in that adminstration, and gives more light to the fact that Bush appoints positions based on past favors and not on what they person may be able to contribute to that post.

    October 31, 2007 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  7. Aaron, San Diego, CA

    What is the turnover rate at the White House? Over 50%?

    October 31, 2007 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  8. Lee, Mays Landing NJ

    So another a republican political hack from Texas, with no qualifications for the state department, goes home.

    October 31, 2007 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  9. T. Tim, Lodi, WI

    Imperialism plain and simple.

    October 31, 2007 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  10. Jim, Medford, OR

    She is another example of an incompetent Bush staffer. The only thing they were good at (Rove, Hughes, Snow, etc.) were making fun of political opponents.

    October 31, 2007 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  11. Alan, San Angelo Texas

    I recall her final act was helping Peruvians after their powerful earthquake. While this is a noble act, it underlines her inability to impact the Muslim world in any substantive way. That makes her much like her boss, Condi Rice.

    If performance is measured by the current thinking of Muslim "hearts and minds", all on the Bush team failed miserably.

    October 31, 2007 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  12. Bob, Seattle, WA

    Hard working lady devoted to the President and his causes. Loyalty like that is hard to find. Too many 'friends' cut and run at the first sign of trouble. Hats off to her and her service.

    October 31, 2007 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  13. Paul C., Palmetto Bay, FL

    You can count her accomplishments on one finger.
    Now if her job was to alienate other countries...that would be a different story.

    October 31, 2007 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  14. Carol, Pittsburgh, PA

    I imagine she will still have the President's ear as long as there are phones and email, as she is one of the Puppeteers. I don't agree with a word she says, but I have to give her props - she's the best "spinmeister" there is!

    October 31, 2007 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  15. A. Thomas, New York, NY

    The writing is on the wall that Bush ship is sinking and that the republican fortune is turning for the worse. These good weather friends of Bush do not want to wait to leave till the bitter end.

    October 31, 2007 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  16. Joseph, Louisville, KY

    Actually, it is normal for political appointees (explicit or implicit) to leave a lame-duck administration about a year before the following election. They do so in order to align with candidates in the upcoming election. This is especially true of those not in the "big" positions. Condoleeza Rice can't leave, because no one wants to borrow from a previous administration's important players, no matter how good the previous administration. But this "medium-sized fish" use the new elections to try and move up the ladder, so to speak. This trend is years old. Don't read too much into it.

    October 31, 2007 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  17. Peter Scalco Fernandina Beach, Florida

    It's obvious by her looks,connections and mannerisms that Ms. Hughes is the illegitimate daughter of GHW Bush. These guys should treat their families better. What a surprise she did not seem to understand other cultures: GW and the rest of these clowns don't feel the need to understand those beneath their station.If ignorance is bliss then they are the happiest folks on earth.

    October 31, 2007 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  18. Corbett, Seattle WA

    This is appropriate for Halloween. I saw Karen Hughes speak in California once. She was pinch-faced, narrow minded, disturbingly referential to the Christian God and wholly condescending.

    People like her are the reason I do not own a gun.

    October 31, 2007 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  19. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    Ding Dong the Witch is Gone!!!

    October 31, 2007 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  20. mt, BR, La.

    Hughes is another example of placing loyalty above competence. She may know a lot about Texas and politics in the U.S., but she had absolutely no background or experience to qualify her for a leading role in U.S. mid-east relations in general or relations with Muslims, in particular. There were so many others Bush could have picked for the role he gave Hughes in 2005, person who might have been able to make some small positive difference.

    October 31, 2007 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  21. Pam, Long Beach, California

    And another idiot of the Bush administration runs away. Apparently, they never have the courage to admit the failures of Bush and his cronies. Well, of course, if they did, Bush & Company would try to destroy their reputations. What a giant mistake and I blame every person who voted for these miserable human beings. Obviously, they didn't win because smart people voted for them...some kind of lack of empathy, or childhood humilation must make up the bulk of the right wing. Cause they're getting even with the smart people by voting for their own kind.

    October 31, 2007 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  22. jason - iowa

    bushes inner circle has made millions i bet. i would like to see the W-2s of the money the appointees have made since bush and them have been in office since oil is sky high the bush family and the opec have made untold billions. off this war i'am sure his inner circle has benefited tremedously

    October 31, 2007 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Another incompetent George Bush buddy takes a hike. Taxpayer money down the drain for another George Bush idea. Rice should be next.

    October 31, 2007 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  24. Corky

    Hallelujah!! There is a God!

    October 31, 2007 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  25. Mike, Philadelphia, PA

    What a shame. She seemed like such a nice guy. Buh-bye!

    October 31, 2007 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
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