In This Installment (04.02.2004):
KAREN HUGHES: COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT
Hello, I'm Karen Hughes. For over a decade, I've served proudly as George W. Bush's tough, balls-to-the-wall
right-hand man, using steely, take-no-prisoners tactics to bang away at problems large and small. And though
in the spring of 2002, I left the White House to "spend more time with my family," summer 2004 will see my
triumphant return to full-time Presidential duty. Also, as a sheer coincidence wholly unrelated to the release of my
I've decided to take your questions today on "Ask the White House." So let's begin!
Fran, from Lubbock, TX writes:
Karen – I've been reading your reasonably-priced new memoir, Ten Minutes from Normal,
and I just wanted to say that it is simply the most fantastic book in the entire history of humanity. The moment I
read the first sentence, I was hooked, and simply could not put it down. In fact, when I finished the last page, I turned right
back to the first page and started again. I've read it at least seven times already, and I am encouraging everyone
I've ever met to purchase hundreds of copies to use as gifts for Christmas and birthdays and weddings. Kudos to you for
being brilliant enough to produce a work of such utter perfection. My question is, now that I've cleared out all the copies
from my local bookstores, where can I get more?
Thank you, Fran! You are clearly a very discerning book buyer with an eye for quality; the kind of person who sets
trends and influences similarly intelligent people. I'm so glad you enjoyed the unvarnished story of my rise from
worthless Middle America nobody to handmaiden for the most powerful pretend cowboy on Earth.
As for where to buy more copies of Ten Minutes from Normal,
I'm afraid I can't help you there. Neither can I confirm or deny rumors that there's a thriving black market in $500 autographed copies being sold from the trunk
of my unemployed husband's new BMW 7-Series.
PC Higgins, from Moulton, Texas writes:
Dear Karen - I thought it was so brave the way you walked away from your job in order to tend to your family.
Your book should be required reading for all women who are foolish enough to think they can hold down careers
and still be good mothers. My question is, how do you reconcile the message of your book with the fact that
you're now returning to your job at the White House?
Well, it's quite simple really. When I left the White House,
the President was riding high on a wave of public paranoia about terrorism. Now that the President's approval ratings
are in the toilet, I simply tell my needy family to fuck off.
To learn more about my private life, purchase and peruse Chapters 14 and 15 of my fabulous new book,
Ten Minutes from Normal.
Candi, from Minneapolis, MN writes:
What was it like to work with Karl Rove? Is it true that you and he dislike each other? What is the
Rove/Bush dynamic REALLY like?
Let me start by dispelling all those silly rumors about there being any bad blood. For the record, I LOVE KARL ROVE.
Sure, we may have had the occasional disagreement, but our ultimate objective was always the same: supporting the
President. That said, I think I've always been a bit closer to the President on a purely personal level, and Karl did
sometimes get a little jealous of that. I remember one time we were all working on a speech until super-late – like
almost 6pm. The President and I both had to go tinkle, so we left Karl in the Oval Office alone. Well a minute later Karl
must have realized he had to go too, so off he went, but when he walked in and saw the President and me standing shoulder to
shoulder at one end of the trough urinal, he got so miffed, he stormed right out. At least I assumed that's why he left.
I'm told his little fella also suffers from severe public lavatory stage fright.
As for the Bush/Rove dynamic specifically, you can pore over oceans of illuminating details about this and countless other
tidbits of wonky minutiae in my terrific new book, Ten Minutes from Normal.
Iris, from Lawrenceville, GA writes:
I am a firm supporter of President Bush, and what he has done to protect us, but I fear that we are not
being aggressive enough in Iraq. The terrorists are clearly becoming more organized, not less, and I fear that it is
just a matter of time before they strike American soil again. If this happens, it will cost Mr. Bush
the election. I am glad that you are back on "active duty." Mr. Bush needs all of our support this time!
Thank You and God Bless You and Mr.Bush and God Bless America.
Oh Iris, you don't need to thank me. Your overwhelming and irrational paranoia of being personally killed by
exotic Muslim psychopaths is thanks enough in and of itself – and proof that we're succeeding in our plans.
May Jesus Christ bless you.
On a side note, you'll find reams and reams of life-saving tips for keeping you and your family safe from the terrorists
who are poised to invade your tree-lined suburban street in Ten Minutes from Normal,
just released by Viking and available online for as low as $18.17.
Chuck K, from Claremont, CA writes:
There have been a lot of former administration officials writing books lately. Did you ever know Paul O'Neil or
Richard Clarke before they wrote their whorey testimonials? Why do you think they wrote them?
Isn't it obvious why they wrote them? Profit, profit, profit! Everyone knows there's no money in books that
double as propagandistic love letters to George W. Bush. Just ask Sean Hannity or Ann Coulter or Bill O'Reilly
or Michael Savage or David Limbaugh or ME.
We can't earn millions and millions in royalties and speaking fees to save our lives! Indeed, the only way to make
money in the world of book publishing is to take one's long and distinguished record as a public servant, and
flush it down the toilet by writing an almost comically detailed pack of utter lies masquerading as a heartfelt
desire to inform the public. It's a darn shame, really.
And on that note, if you'd like to do your part to help prevent the proliferation of trashy fiction like
Richard Clarke or Paul O'Neill churns out, there's no better way than to show your support for President Bush through
the prompt purchase of a gleaming new copy of Ten Minutes from Normal.
Dylan Payne, from Sister Bay, WI writes:
What is your thoughts on the misleading attack ads that President Bush is running against Kerry? Don't you
think this is just more reason for normal Americans to stop caring about politics because it has the image
of partisan warfare wherein winning an election for your party is more important that the American public?
Pardon me. Misleading? Attack? I think it's pretty clear where you're coming from, Dylan. The fact of the
matter is that President Bush's campaign ads
are absolutely, 100% true. Just like ALL quality advertising.
Of course, I'm just scratching the surface of this topic. If you'd like to learn more, I would urge you to
pull your head out of your stinky liberal heiny hole long enough to read Chapter Six of Ten Minutes from Normal.
Ari F., from Georgetown writes:
Wow, you must really love the President if you're willing to go back into that pressure cooker. I mean,
just the memory of him flossing his teeth with Post-It notes during meetings still makes me shudder. My
question is, since you're going to be so busy come August, can I have your cancelled five-figure speaking dates?
OK, but I get 60%. Also, that reminds me, my agent wants your agent to know that we claim exclusivity on the
whole "An Inspiring Glimpse Behind the Scenes on 9/11" routine. Of course, if you're subbing for me, we can negotiate
terms. Call me. But not before you buy and read Ten Minutes from Normal.
David Olsen, from San Bernardino, CA writes:
First off, I'd like to say I am a long time supporter of Bush. And, as a parent I was wondering if you
knew how to deal with children and voting. When my daughter turned 18 I insisted that she register to
vote. I set her up with all the research she needed to make an informed choice. The problem is she has
told me and her mother that she is going to vote for Kerry. Where did I go wrong, and how can I get
my daughter back on the right track?
You know, one of the crazy things about raising children is that there are no 100% guarantees about how they'll
turn out. You can be the toughest taskmaster and the greatest rolemodel of upstanding regular Joe conservatism,
and still end up with a lefty pinko fruit of an offspring. Just look at Ron Reagan Jr.
As for getting your daughter back on the right track, all you can do is pray to the almighty, demand
she wear appropriately wholesome swimwear,
and assign her a book report on the fascination and illuminating contents of Ten Minutes from Normal.
And we're out of time. Thanks for all your questions everyone! Don't forget to buy and review my book!
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