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Bush aide Karen Hughes resigning

Discussion / Activity

April 23, 2002 Posted: 6:14 PM EDT (2214 GMT)
Hughes will resign this summer
Hughes will resign this summer  

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- White House counselor Karen Hughes -- called by one top White House aide "the most influential person" in President Bush's political life -- will resign this summer and return to Texas with her family, she announced Tuesday.

She is the first member of the president's inner circle to announce she is leaving, and said she made the decision because she wanted to return her family to Texas.

"Our home is Texas; we're a little homesick," she said.

Hughes and political adviser Karl Rove are the president's two most trusted aides, both dating back to his days as Texas governor.

Her trademark line is that she has worked with the president so long she can finish his sentences. She said the president jokes that she was at his side "when the motorcade was one car."

Karen Hughes discusses Bush's global agenda 
'Midweek moment' helps Hughes find family time 
Work and life: The search for balance 

Hughes, who had been discussing leaving for several months, reported she faced a May 1 deadline to make the job decision, because she had to let her son's school know whether he would be re-enrolling in the fall. She said she met with President Bush and first lady Laura Bush last week and both said they understood and supported her decision.

Her top White House deputy, Dan Bartlett, who not long ago was elevated to the post of communications director, has assumed more responsibilities in recent months for planning and executing the White House communications strategy.

Hughes told reporters she did not anticipate remaining as a government-paid political appointee after leaving the White House this summer.

But she did say she planned to continue assisting the president; in the past some former White House aides have been paid as consultants, either by national party committees or by the president's political committees.

Associates said Hughes anticipated making media and other appearances on behalf of the president.

Hughes has worked for President Bush since his 1994 campaign for Texas governor. She served as director of communications for his 1994 and 1998 gubernatorial campaigns and was director of communications in the governor's office from 1995 until 1999, when she joined the presidential campaign.

She is a former executive director of the Texas Republican Party and was once a television reporter in Dallas.

• : Profile: Karen Hughes

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Updated September 21, 2002

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