A key aid to U.S. President George W. Bush has announced Tuesday that she will leave the White House in a few months so she can spend more time with her family in Texas.
No one on the White House staff is closer to the president than Karen Hughes.
She has worked with Mr. Bush since 1994 when he first campaigned to be Texas governor. Now she is going home.
Ms. Hughes says her family is a little homesick. She says leaving the president's staff is not a decision she made lightly, but adds she will continue to offer advice after she returns to Texas.
The president says he understands her decision to go home to Austin with her husband and 15-year-old son, and to put her family first. "Karen Hughes will be changing her address," he said. "But she will still be in my inner circle. I value her judgment and I will have her judgment. I value her advice and will have her advice. I value her friendship and I will have her friendship."
Karen Hughes currently holds the title of Counselor to the President. She is responsible for, among other things, press relations and speech writing. Ms. Hughes and White House National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice are said to be two of the most influential female aides in White House history.