The Note

"But advisers to the president say that Ms. Hughes's impending return to a more full-time role has stirred some unease within a campaign that has been wholly the province of Karl Rove, Mr. Bush's chief political adviser. The president trusts Ms. Hughes like almost no one else on his staff, so much so that some Bush aides say they are worried that a return of the two-headed Rove-Hughes team could lead to internal disputes about strategy and message that so far have been muted. Others point out that even though Ms. Hughes and Mr. Rove have a history of tension, they also have a history through three campaigns of working it out."

Mike Allen of the Washington Post previews Karen Hughes' re-emergence onto the Bush PR team and her upcoming book tour, Noting "this is no tell-all, and readers looking for dirt on Bush and his administration inner circle will be disappointed." LINK

Time magazine's Jay Carney looks at the timing and political significance of Hughes' book:

"Bush aides are counting on Hughes' hagiographic portrait of the president as a near flawless leader in turbulent times to serve as an antidote to the searing criticism in the recent book by Bush's former counterterrorism czar, Richard Clarke, or the one that former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill produced with journalist Ron Suskind."

Carney also cautions readers looking for insight into the inner workings of the West Wing, describing the book as "all kiss and no tell." LINK

Jena Heath of the Austin-American Statesman focuses on Hughes' religion, Noting that "the memoir is the work of a disciple spreading the word."

"Hughes' most intense language is reserved for two men — Jesus Christ and George W. Bush. She invokes them again and again, and neither man experiences a Garden of Gethsemane moment of doubt or even a second thought. It is this absoluteness that makes Hughes the author as frustrating for readers as Hughes the political operative often was for those of us who covered the 2000 presidential campaign and, later, the White House."LINK

The New York Post's Orin described the publicity tour for Hughes' book as much about politics as literature."

Republicans are "thrilled that confidante Karen Hughes is launching her book tour this week because it puts her back in the spotlight" and Orin observes: "Nobody is better at promoting Bush in a down-to-earth way than Hughes."LINK

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Jay Root read "Ten Minutes" and reports that except for a brief lapse in 1976 to vote for Carter, Hughes has stayed admirably on-message her entire life. Here are her descriptions of her former and current boss: "awesome," "phenomenal" and "decisive leader." LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush vs. Kerry:

Keying off the likes of Sen. McCain and his refusal to call Kerry weak on defense, Dave Rogers of the Wall Street Journal explores the potential for backfire in the Bush-Cheney ad strategy against John Kerry.

" … The administration's highly personal approach to defense and foreign-policy issues may raise questions about Mr. Bush's credibility as much as the Democratic challenger's indecisiveness."

"The attacks on Mr. Kerry bore in on defense and intelligence votes in the 1980s and 1990s, a complex time when many in both parties — including some Republican hawks and intelligence supporters — were experimenting with how to adapt to the end of the Cold War and budget deficits that threatened the U.S. economy."

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