March 22, 2005


Hughes doctrine: Thinking outside of box (in garage): A professor recalls one of his best students from 1976 (BOB MANN, 3/21/05, Houston Chronicle)

Back in 1976, Karen Hughes — then Karen Parfitt — was my star journalism student at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. [...]

The yellowed grade sheet indicates the future Hughes made a B+ on that initial deadline undertaking, an exercise in which I barked out facts that students nervously tried to convert into a news article while I paced among them, ranting and raving in tough city-editor fashion.

Most students pounded feverishly, some of them panicked, on old Royal typewriters, but not Hughes.

From day one, she got my attention with her intense focus. Her steel-blue eyes shut out the rest of class and concentrated only on her words. Always, she finished first, ripping out her copy and cockily presenting it to me. I loved it.

I asked those laboratory students on that first day in the spring of 1976 to write a short biography and to discuss their ambitions. Hughes, then 19, typed out:

"The most important issue facing America is the question of her foreign policy. I have lived in other countries and seen anti-American feelings growing as totalitarian governments or a loss of democracy begin to sweep their country.

"I think America is in danger both internally from the dissentions of her own people on foreign policy and externally from the strong governments in the world which are not democratic."

As a journalism student in the heart of Texas, Karen Hughes was composing what has become the Bush doctrine. Perhaps her portfolio is not so "new."

It helps that today so closely resembles the point in the Cold War where Democrats had given up and Republicans had decided to force the conclusion.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 22, 2005 10:32 AM

Wow, a B+ for his star pupil for a paper he loved. I guess people graded harder 30 years ago.

Posted by: Bob at March 22, 2005 2:46 PM

I am glad that she is running the Condi for President campaign.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at March 22, 2005 5:19 PM