Losing His Mittens

Karen Hughes helped George W. Bush relax and softened his image. What will he do without her?

When Karen Hughes announced that she was leaving the White House and going back to Texas, some might have expected dancing in the pressroom. No one has been more responsible than Hughes for keeping the flow of information from this Administration sanitized and restricted. But her send-off from Washington was glowing. Gone were the nasty nicknames--"Nurse Ratched" and "the Enforcer"--replaced by supportive e-mails from people she had so often vexed. A few with whom she has clashed even stopped by her office to give her a hug. "From some of the stories," said Hughes, "I feel like I've died."

Hughes' surprise...

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