This headline made me laugh out loud: Karen Hughes Resigns After Failing to Improve US’s Image Abroad.
I laugh because I have watched her flail about in this job, apparently thinking that the world would fall in love with her and thus America because she proudly states, “I’m a mother” early in every speech she gives, as if motherhood enhances her credibility. She’s well known to be in George Bush’s inner circle, which blows any credibility she might have all to hell. She’s also, or at least was when she started out, egregiously ignorant about the middle east.
Karen Hughes, longtime adviser to President Bush, announced her resignation as undersecretary of state Wednesday, after two years of trying to overhaul the US approach to public diplomacy. She is best known for her attempt to sway the hearts and minds of the Muslim world, of which officials say, she had little success.
Public opinion polls show that the image of the United States has declined dramatically in the Muslim world, and elsewhere overseas. These numbers did not improve during Hughes’ time at State Department, and in many cases, have worsened.
A recent global survey by the Pew Research Center concluded that the American image “remains abysmal in most Muslims countries in the Middle East and Asia.”
Many say Hughes started off on the wrong foot. The Arab and Western media ridiculed her for statements she made during her maiden voyage to the Middle East in September 2005, which some experts said lacked a depth. In recollecting her maiden trip, The Washington Post yesterday quoted Arab News, which wrote in 2005: “[Hughes] was painfully clueless.”
And yet, like her boss, she’s optimistic about her failure:
Hughes told reporters Wednesday that she felt she had accomplished what she had set out to do.
Shades of Frances Fragos Townsend, Bush’s assistant for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, who said in December 2006 that capturing Bin Laden is “a success that hasn’t occurred yet.”
Top that!, former attorney general John Ashcroft: “The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved.”
I smell a Presidential Medal of Freedom for these ladies.