Family Second

The State Department announced today that president-whisperer Karen Hughes will be taking a post at State designed to change Islamic perceptions about America. How many different aspects of this announcement are there that are objectionable?

First of all, have our news media conveniently forgotten Karen Hughes’ ‘family first’ position of several months back? With a huge self-righteous fanfare, she left her post at the White House because her son supposedly came first and she claimed she wasn’t seeing enough of her family. It was time, she said, to return to Texas where they could spend time together.

But now all of a sudden it’s OK for her to travel extensively in the Middle East? Is it easier to get to Texas from Iraq than it is from D.C.? Have they perfected that ‘Beam-me-up-Scotty’ technology and I just didn’t hear about it yet?

Second, isn’t it more than a little disingenuous to attempt to control perceptions of the U.S. in the Islamic world? Isn’t this just a thinly vailed public relations campaign designed to make it possible for the U.S. to continue on exactly the same trajectory that it’s been on, without actually making any substantive changes in the way that the U.S. deals with the Muslim world? This is akin to the tobacco companies honking their own horns for their efforts to get people to stop smoking, while simultaneously racheting up their marketing efforts to sell more cigarettes.

Third, Karen Hughes? This is the administration’s idea of a diplomat? Karen Hughes’ professional life has been exclusively as a campaign professional and a television news reporter, most of it in Texas. What on earth on her resume would qualify her for a position at State? If she posted her resume on Monster.com, I bet she wouldn’t get a single inquiry for a diplomat job. And I’d also bet there are career diplomats all over the world who are screaming silently about this appointment.