White House

Karen Hughes and the State of the Union

Much has been made of the omission of the President’s new space initiative from his State of the Union address in January. On at least one occasion NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe defended the omission because the President had devoted an entire speech to the plan less than a week earlier and because the address is not a “tick list” of all the President’s initiatives. However, the New York Times reports Sunday that any mention of the plan in the speech may have been removed at the behest of Karen Hughes, the former White House communications director who still serves as an advisor to the President:

Ms. Hughes also advocated dropping from the State of the Union address any mention of the president’s ambitious proposal to send humans to Mars, which was attacked by members of his own party as extravagant folly. “At some level the policy gesture didn’t pass the communications straight-face test,” the Bush adviser said.

(The advisor quoted above is an unnamed Bush advisor that the article says earlier “asked not to be named because he did not want to be seen as criticizing Mr. [Karl] Rove,” who reportedly had a less-than-cordial relationship with Hughes when both worked in the White House.) Given that the proposal didn’t “pass the communications straight-face test” less than a week after its introduction, one wonders when—if ever—it will.

3 comments to Karen Hughes and the State of the Union

  • Brad

    NYT reporting the news or driving it?

    I despise these ‘unnamed sources’ insider stories which claim to report internal conflict in a politician’s inner circle. There is no way to verify if any part of the story is true, and odds are the story is just someone trying to manipulate public opinion, either the ‘unnamed source’ or the reporter himself.

    The various stories about Mars absence from the State of the Union address rank right up there in media mythology with the claims the new Bush space policy is a sham because it wasn’t accompanied with a trillion dollars extra money for NASA.

  • Dwayne A. Day

    Hughes is currently doing a publicity tour for her book. She is supposed to be on The Daily Show on Wednesday night, and I assume she is doing all the morning shows this week.

    Maybe somebody will ask her about this.

  • Jackie Dixon

    I have watched Mrs. Hughes on the talk show circuit, and the comment she continuously states just makes my skin crawl; the statement about we went to war to liberate the Iraqi people from a murderous dictator. It just sickens me when I hear Republicans making statements of compassion. Where was people like Mrs. Hughes when the murderous dictators of South Africa, Uganda, China, etc. was committing atrocity after atrocity to their own people? Not one Republican entertained the thought of using the military to liberate the people of those countries. The American people can see straight through the phony liberation line used to attack Iraq, and I’m willing to bet the American people will prove it, when Bush is voted out of office.