Matalin becomes third comms loss for administration

WASHINGTON: Mary Matalin joined a growing list of female communications officials to leave the White House last month, citing the familiar need to spend more time with family.

WASHINGTON: Mary Matalin joined a growing list of female communications officials to leave the White House last month, citing the familiar need to spend more time with family.

Matalin, communications director for Vice President Dick Cheney and wife of Democratic strategist James Carville, with whom she has two daughters, follows in the footsteps of Bush's former top counselor Karen Hughes, and former Cheney press secretary Juleanna Glover Weiss. Both left the administration in 2002 for family reasons.

All three have said that the White House tried to be family-friendly, sending staffers home at reasonable hours and making concessions for parental schedules. But those attempts, they say, became less successful after September 11, 2001.

Replacing Matalin is her former deputy, Catherine Martin. Prior to joining the White House team 18 months ago, Martin was deputy chief of staff and White House liaison for commerce secretary Don Evans.

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