Karen Hughes to speak at fundraising event

Former President George W. Bush spoke with great clarity while current President Barack Obama relies more on his eloquent style without which he likely wouldn't have been elected, said a political strategist and former counselor to Bush.

"President Bush is a very direct, very straightforward, very straight talking Texan," said Karen Hughes, who will speak Oct. 26 at the George W. Bush Childhood Home fundraiser.

After working as the director of communications for then Gov. Bush, Hughes served as a counselor to Bush in the White House from 2001-2002 before returning home to Texas. From August 2005 to December 2007 she served as under secretary of state for public diplomacy.

When in Midland, Hughes said she will focus on the qualities of leadership, which she defines through communication style, example set and optimism.

Along with optimism and example-setting, Hughes said one's communication style is vital to their success.

"We currently have a president, President Obama, who is the president because he is a very gifted and powerful communicator," she said.

She said she used to tease Bush that he cut all of the adjectives out his speeches because he was so direct, but said that method also was effective as most people knew what his priorities were.

Optimism, she said, is defined as one's sense of looking toward something bigger than themselves.

"President Bush has a great deal of that and a lot of that came from Midland," she said.

Hughes was with Bush when he returned to Midland in January and said it was a welcome site for he and his staff after Bush had received so much criticism during his last days.

"It was wonderful for us to come home and see that sunny Texas welcome," she said.

Ellen K. Ramsey, event chairwoman and childhood home board member, said they invited Hughes to speak in part because she's been such a big contributor to Bush's career over the years and were interested to here her insights and experiences.

Sponsorship tables for the event range from $1,500 to $7,500 and individual tickets still are on sale for $150 each, Ramsey said.

The home's Executive Director Paul St. Hilaire said the funds go toward the home's general operating budget.

Kathleen Thurber can be reached at kthurber@mrt.com.

To attend: 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 26, Petroleum Club

Limited sponsorships still available as well as individual tickets. Call 685-1112 for more information.

Read more: http://www.mywesttexas.com/articles/2009/10/14/news/top_stories/doc4ad6775b28e7c622170270.txt#ixzz0U1V3YsTI

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