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Book Review of Ten Minutes from Normal

Ten Minutes from Normal
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Hughes, who surprised the political world by leaving her post as counselor to President Bush in July 2002, to pursue a more normal family life in Texas, here offers a relentlessly upbeat account of life as Bushs chief communications strategist. Hughes begins by detailing her upbringing as an army brat, her career as a TV reporter in Texas and her entry into politics as a press officer for the 1984 Reagan presidential campaign. The heart of the story is her relationship with Bush ("my boss"), whom she has served since his 1994 campaign for governor of Texas. Hughes praises Bushs "laser-like" mind, humble spirit and moral courage; she also praises almost everyone else in the administration, including political strategist Karl Rove, with whom she was reported to have frequently sparred. And not surprisingly for a famously disciplined, on-message spokesperson, she directs her most pointed barbs at those who leak information to the press. While Hughes doesnt offer a balanced take on Bush and company, then, she does offer something equally tantalizinga deep insiders take on what it is like to work at the side of the most powerful man in the world. She also provides Bush fans with a well-crafted, robust paean to the president. And both these reasons are why this book has found a place on major national bestseller lists.