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Karen Hughes “Tries” to Make News

by Pamela Leavey

A bit of classic reporting of the bungling Karen Hughes in the Mid-East from the NY Times …

Karen Hughes, the under secretary of state for public diplomacy, tried to make news in the Middle East by defending unpopular U.S. policies.

Karen Hughes points to Bush photo on book cover for

Huges, “also repeatedly asserted, no less than three times in an interview on the Arabic satellite network Al Jazeera, that Mr. Bush was the first American president to call for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. It was a bit of an exaggeration, since President Bill Clinton endorsed such a state a couple of weeks before he left office in 2001.”

There was some coverage in the regional press, but not a great deal, combined with editorial skepticism, if not hostility, over her first overseas trip in her new role. “The Arab world is tired of U.S. hurricanes,” said an editorial in Asharq, a daily paper in Qatar. “It hopes that Hurricane Hughes will be the last one.”

Traveling with her was at times like being trapped in a cable television infomercial, with an emphasis on values like family and faith. Ms. Hughes said that she was a “working mom” and that President Bush cared about mothers, fathers and children everywhere, especially in a future Palestinian state.

She addressed several policies, but in concise sound bites rather than sustained arguments. In American campaigns, such messages repeated over and over can have an effect because a presidential candidate dominates the news with every statement he makes, and if that fails to work, money can be poured into saturation advertising.

By contrast, in the lively and percussive environment of this region, Ms. Hughes came nowhere near the commanding heights of the media.

It appears Ms. Hughes new role is another example of a Bush crony unfit for the position.

32 Responses to “Karen Hughes “Tries” to Make News”

  1. As a PR professional I have been underwhelmed by Big Bertha since her deer caught in headlights moment in 2000 when Shrub’s drunken arrest was made public at the 11th hour. She showed absolutely no control of the situation and was probably the real reason she didn’t get the top WH PR spot and Ari Fleischer did. And her performance in 2004 was plain embarrassing. We all saw her pathetic attempt to glam up her look by piling on her makeup like she was auditioning for Barnum & Bailey and then she had the nerve to go on tv and unethically defended the indefensible – ShrubCo. The rest of the campaign she spent on gimmickery and playing costume dress up. She sucks.

    The ultimate problem with Big Bertha is that she specializes in piss and vinegar, drive-by PR. The skill set for that and being an actual overseas spokesperson and diplomat is totally different and something she nor Condo-ditzy have the credentials for.

    And that’s my rant for the day. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Florida Dem

    Applause! Applause! We thank you for that most eloquent rant!

  3. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I was hoping that maybe she would be up to this job for the good of the country. We could put partisan politics aside if she was really able to do anything worthwhile to improve our relations with the middle east. Unfortunately she doesn’t appear to be up to the job. Perhaps she believes the lies her party has been spreading, making it harder for her to relate to people in the real world.

  5. This administration is absolutely pitiful. They have no skills in governance, diplomacy, and the magnificent fine art of foreign relations. Everything they do is wrong. Except smearing opponents at home, and even that seems to be dwindling lately.

    Their gaffes are so embarrassing. Their decisions are abominable. Their ineptness would be a joke if people weren’t being tortured and murdered.

    They are hopeless.
    I can’t wait till they are gone.

  6. Just the historian in me talking but the other day I ranked the 20th century presidents from 1-18. My conclusion is that Dubya is worse than any of them.

    1. F.D. Roosevelt
    2. T. Roosevelt
    3. Truman
    4. Wilson
    5. JF Kennedy
    6. LB Johnson
    7. Eisenhower
    8. Carter
    9. Ford
    10. Bush Sr.
    11. Taft
    12. McKinley
    13. Reagan
    14. Nixon
    15. Clinton
    16. Coolidge
    17. Harding
    18. Hoover

    What do folks think?

  7. Ron, you give Karen Hughes more credit than I ever good. To me, Karen is Babs’ true daughter-in-law, they’re two peas in the same bod.

  8. KJ,

    I didn’t have a say in if she would be hired for the job, so all I could do is hope she could do something worthwhile. I had hoped that outside of domestic politics she might be able to do some good. Unfortuantely it appears she can’t.

  9. Ron, nope, the woman doesn’t give me an ounce of hope. I actually shudder when I see her picture or hear her voice… same goes for Babs, Laura and Condi. It might be a woman thing, I dunno. @;-) All of those women have made careers out of protecting scum when what they’ve needed to do is toss him (scum) out on his ear.

    I loved the comebacks Hughes received from Muslim women during her tour. Loved them.

  10. I will never forgive her for the way she helped the media slam Momma T over her comments about whether or not Laura Bush had a real job. That was just a misunderstanding, yet she and the media blew it out of proportion like Laura was so “innocent and sweet, how dare you insult her you rich (fill in the blank)” to Momma T as some loose cannon. That still makes me mad till this day out the media portrayed Momma T. (mad).

  11. Indie, exactly. I still remember the comments that were made at work about THK… and in truth, my responses, which were not at all appreciated. Momma T. is a deeply intelligent, warm, compassionate woman. To have gone after her like they did still makes me mad too. You’re not alone!

  12. KJ,

    Actually Condi has done a bit better than I anticipated (between shopping trips, of course). At least she does not appear to be politicizing the State Department to the extent I feared before she took her position.

    Of course her credibility remains shot, such as with the way she wrote an Op Ed denying having received recommendations from the Clinton Administration on dealing with Al Qaeda, and subsequenly was found to be lying.

  13. Well, it was pretty obvious she wouldn’t be the right person to try to change people’s minds about the U.S.

    Her and the Bush admin’s problem is that they actually think the people in the rest of the world are as susceptible to idiotic propaganda and drivel as Americans are. It works like a charm here every time, so of course they figure they can send her out to do the same in other countries.

    Hughes job was always as Bush’s adviser and speech fluffer for when he wanted to connect with the common folk, soccer moms, etc. That’s why she was just repeatedly used phrases with “family” & “loving kids” etc, seemingly tossed in randomly just to get the words in several times each time she spoke. That’s all the kind of crap you have to do in the U.S. to have people say, “Golly, he’s a nice guy, he’s just like us, he’s the kind of guy I want to have for bbq and a beer”.

    Time for another wakeup, call you incompetent idiots running our country into the ground. Most people in other countries are a lot sharper and more aware of propaganda and obvious drivel then the average America is. You ain’t in Kansas anymore Toto….

    BTW, what’s up with all the normal people starting to do little rants lately. I don’t want to see any other rants going on around here! Even though other people’s are coherent, have points and aren’t nasty, it’s still moving in on my turf! Hey, it’s all I’ve got…whimper… ๐Ÿ™

    And Pamela, I’m not even on speaking terms with you after reading the mean thing you said to Donnie near the end of the โ€œForgive Me While I Tear My Hair Outโ€ post. And to think that I use to think you were a nice person. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. Dave from Princeton

    Did I say something mean. I thought I was complimenting you two wonderful guys!

  15. LOL The Prince has spoken. Sorry about the turf violation Dave. But you know that Scarianna kinda brings that out in people. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  16. Good job Nick! I like the list!

  17. Dave from Priceton,

    O Mighty Prince of Rants!!! I am in supplication at your feet and I pledge never to outrant you. You are the tops! I am a humble complainer in training!
    The floodgates have opened, though, and closet ranters are everywhere.

  18. LMAO!!

  19. Hey Donnie!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Hey Teresa, how are you?

  21. To Rant or not To Rant, That is the question.

  22. Not too bad, Donnie. Fair to middling.

    Yes, that is one of the great philosophical questions we ask.

    My dictionary says that the Scottish derivation of the word means wild gaiety: a boisterous level: uproariously jolly. Sounds good to me. I’d say one should rant. Even if it does dip into vehemence, and off-color language

  23. Well said Teresa. Am I the only one having trouble with this sight? Having problems sometimes getting to it the last two days.

  24. Pamela Leavey Says:
    September 30th, 2005 at 10:05 pm

    Pamela, yes I know you complemented me, by comparing me to Donnie. However, that means you also compared Donnie to me. That’s what was mean to do. He’s a friend of the DailyDem!
    I called you on for it in this post linked here http://blog.thedemocraticdaily.com/?p=713#comment-5183
    As noted, last time a smear job like that took place was in the 50’s!

    Hey guys, I don’t have a problem with you guys writing your little “rants”. Its just that you guys are giving ranting a bad name! Sorry, I guess I’m just a purist. Some folks(yes I mean you guys) are just born too nice, rational and literate I guess. And then on the other side, there’s me… ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    Oops, I said I wasn’t talking to Pamela anymore… But hey, that would be rewarding her for bad behavior!

  25. Dave from Princeton

    I’m so confused and it’s been a very very very bad day…
    Server problems for the blog… puter problems for me…

    Oh my…

  26. Pamela Leavey Says:
    October 1st, 2005 at 3:07 pm

    Yeah, I could tell that you guys were having bad problems yesterday. ๐Ÿ™

    Hope you weren’t confused by my posts? If so, sorry… I was justt saying that comparing someone to me, in any way, is an insult to them. Ask my kid! I was just fooling around. In my post from yesterday, that I referenced above, I had just added a few famous lines from the the Army-McCarthy hearings.

    If you read that post you’d understand the reference above, but it’s not worth your time. Just me, being me, entertaining myself, ergo nothing of any importance. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  27. LOL Dave from Princeton, I consider it a complement. I have to admit, it felt good to let loose.

  28. Donnie McDaniel Says:
    October 1st, 2005 at 4:04 pm

    Yeah, it sure does feel good to let loose sometimes. You know you sure aren’t going to get an argument from me on that! But be very careful of partaking of that sweet nectar too much my friend. Partake too much of that forbidden fruit and one can become entrapped in her arms, and before you know it become unable or unwilling to break free from it’s addictive hold… =-O

    Hey, that reminds me. Switching the subject to writings of substance. When can we expect part III of your series? I know you have “a few” issues your dealing with at the moment, so no rush of course. Just don’t want you to think you don’t have to finish some day, thats all ๐Ÿ˜‰

    BTW, any updates on conditions down your way? Are you guys getting any real assistance finally? Also, I meant to mention the other day when I read you’re post on your Governor rearranging her schedule to attend the multi-parish meeting where Bush, his admin and FEMA were all MIA…

    I hope you realize that Bush will NEVER EVER meet with you guys personally. Bush NEVER meets with any groups of people who don’t all agree with him and slobber over him. He can’t handle it and it doesn’t fit their spin for public consumption either. Refer to every one of his 2004 campaign events, along with his taxpayer funded Social Security privatization tour.

    Bush only performs at totally staged events, with adoring fans. It’s for both his benefit and for the cameras and thereby the public. Attendees are pre-screened and at the SS tour events, people even had to audition to speak at them. Some lost their speaking parts the night before when they didn’t read their lines correctly or didn’t come across well enough.

    Bush cannot tolerate any opinion or person who doesn’t agree with him completely. He isn’t use to it, since he hasn’t had to deal with any his whole life and gets immediately, displayable, irritated and angry. Also, as you may have realized now, the Bush presidency is by far the most stage managed, poll using, focused group administration ever seen. That is all it is and 100% political. Read somewhere a while back about some top ex-TV network production types they even hired to plan and stage manage all their events for the cameras so everything comes out just the right way for public consumption etc.

    Like everything else about Bush and his admin. they are the complete opposite of everything their propaganda and the MSM(which is an ever willing accomplice) says he is. Well along with being the most dishonest, corrupt and incompetent, as far as policy(no surprise since it is solely based on politics and $) or actually governing. The results are getting harder to hide and it ain’t pretty. The damage, as we all know, has been extensive in almost every area imaginable. Some things may take a generation to recover from, if ever. All they are good at is politics, and the nastier and more partisan the better.

    BTW, in case you can’t tell. I hate, HATE him and his ilk and what they have done to our country.

    Oops, see what I mean? Rant to much and it just takes you over. Fight the dark side my friend. Save yourself, don’t let it take you too. I’m past the point of no return. Don’t let this happen to you. =-O

  29. Dave from Princeton Says:
    October 1st, 2005 at 5:21 pm

    Dave From Princeton, help is finally starting to trickle in to ths area. The Redcross is in the process of trying to set up shop within a week here. But people are receiving help from them already to a small degree.

    October 01. 2005 1:28AM

    Red Cross can help; it just takes a while
    Staff Writer
    HOUMA — Standing outside Peopleโ€™s Drug Store on Main Street waiting to retrieve their Red Cross checks from the Western Union inside, Houma residents Raymond Parfait and Pamela Porche each had a different take on how relief efforts are being handled.

    “I called from Thursday until Sunday at all hours of the day and all I could get is a recorded message,” Porche said.

    FEMA is of course, the very symbol of Bush and his lack of care.

    October 01. 2005 1:28AM

    Terrebonne FEMA office opens today
    HOUMA — A comprehensive FEMA disaster-recovery center opens today in the Town Hall building at 805 Barrow St., according to the agency.

    The facility is expected to house representatives of FEMA and several other disaster-relief agencies, but the list of agencies has not been officially announced, pending staffing arrangements.

    Notice after all these days, that they are just trying to set something up, and still don’t have all the answers. The phone number and the websight, are a complete joke. It takes an act of GOD to get through the phone lines, and the websight is only slightly better. When you apply online, and wait the time they tell you to, and go back to check the status of the claim, it tells you that the claim is expired. It’s freaking insane!! If you notice in the story, that you can go to the recovery center to check the status of a claim. But they want you to apply by phone or online.

    AS you can imagine, it doesn’t take a lot of brains to know that 4 to 9 feet of water in your home kinda dampens that ability. Especially when half of the parish is underwater.

  30. Dave from Princeton

    It’s all good no worries… just my puter problems… ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. Donnie,

    Glad to hear they are at least FINALLY starting to get things going down there. I can’t imagine what it must be like for you folks…

    Unfortunately, the Red Cross may gave gotten overloaded trying to assist with the 2 storms so close together. Also, in the US, I’d assume their planning and implementation is designed to piggyback with FEMA and other government agencies networks and infrastructure. When FEMA ended up MIA, I’m sure it greatly hampered the Red Cross’ ability to more effectively and quickly respond to such widespread devastation. Also, from some things I’ve read, it seems at times FEMA spent more time trying to prevent the Red Cross and others from coming in and responding quickly after Katrina hit than they spent trying to actually assist with relief efforts.

    Pamela, hopefully your puter problems will soon be a distant unpleasant memory. They’ve sure been acting up enough on you the past week ๐Ÿ™

  32. Dave from Princeton

    One down, one to go still. I did a clean install on my laptop of Windows a few months ago and some of the drivers won’t work. Tried everything. Waiting for a supervisor to call me on Monday now. It’s been a weird week, I think when we had the power outage a couple of weeks ago it started a slow fry of the hard drive on my secondary business computer. That had to be replaced when it ceased up. New hard drive is in, now I need to install programs. Sunday I was pulling data off a harddrive that was hotwired and I knocked out my video card. Too many computers none of them happy!