With Karen Hughes stepping down, some questions get asked about why she's so ineffective:

Q So in your mind, she has succeeded in her goal of outreach to the Arab world, based on those numbers that I just cited?

MS. PERINO: Look, I'm not going to comment or respond to a poll that you just read out. I don't know about those numbers, I don't know the questions that were asked; I think it's inappropriate. What I can tell you is that she has done amazing work. Let me give another example. She started a women's outreach effort with the Middle Eastern countries and started a breast cancer initiative. And just last week Mrs. Bush went and highlighted that initiative and went to four different countries in the Middle East, had a very successful trip in explaining that women have tools at their disposal when they find out that they have breast cancer, early detection and treatment. That is precisely what the President was hoping Karen Hughes would achieve, and she has.

Q So in your view, the U.S. image in the Arab world has improved under Karen Hughes?

MS. PERINO: We are making progress. I know that we have a long way to go.



And indeed we do have a long way to go.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.