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They have Bush's ear

Compiled by Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 5, 2000

DON EVANS, 54. None of Bush's advisers is more trusted than Evans, a Houston native and longtime chairman and chief executive of Tom Brown Inc., a Denver-based oil and gas company. He received a master's degree in business administration from the University of Texas in 1973. When Bush left Harvard Business School in the 1970s and headed for Midland to begin an oil career, he found Evans married to one of his elementary school classmates and ready to pal around. When Bush made his first foray into politics, an unsuccessful run for Congress in 1978, Evans stepped up and raised the money. He took on the same role when Bush ran for governor in 1994 and again when Bush won re-election in 1998. In 1995, Bush appointed Evans to the board of regents at the University of Texas. In 1997, Evans' colleagues voted him chairman, a position he still holds. Evans started with the presidential campaign as Bush's chief fundraiser. In April, he was named campaign chairman, coordinating interaction between the staff, the national party and convention workers.

JOE ALLBAUGH, 48. Graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in political science. He cut his political teeth as an aide to former Oklahoma Gov. Henry Bellmon. In 1994, he became Bush's campaign manager and later was chief of staff in the governor's office. Now he is manager of the presidential campaign.

LARRY LINDSEY, 46. Bush's chief economic adviser. He launched his career on the White House Counsel of Economic Advisers in the 1980s as a driving force behind Ronald Reagan's supply-side economic policy. He also advised President Bush and spent most of the 1990s as a governor on the Federal Reserve before joining the conservative American Enterprise Institute think tank.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, 45. Born in Birmingham, Ala., and swiftly embarked on a distinguished academic and public service career. She enrolled in the University of Denver when she was 15 and graduated at 19. She earned a master's degree at the University of Notre Dame and a doctorate at the University of Denver. She was an intern at the State Department when she was 23. By 1981, when she was 26, she was teaching at Stanford University. She worked on nuclear strategic planning at the Joint Chiefs of Staff as part of a Council on Foreign Relations fellowship. In 1989, she joined President George Bush's administration and served as senior director for Soviet affairs at the National Security Council. As Bush's top foreign policy adviser, Rice has convened a brain trust that includes former secretaries of state and national security advisers, but she alone is the person that Bush trusts on foreign affairs. Rice is an expert on Russian and European affairs and has acknowledged that she has much to learn about the rest of the world.

KAREN HUGHES, 43. Graduated from Southern Methodist University. Her title is communications director, but her job is much broader. Hughes is one of Bush's closest aides and exerts as much of an effect on his policy proposals as she does on the message of the campaign. She was the spokeswoman for the Texas Republican Party in 1994 when Bush asked her to join his first gubernatorial campaign. Before going to work for the state GOP, Hughes spent most of the 1980s in a series of Dallas-based political jobs. She got into politics in 1984, working for the Reagan-Bush re-election campaign in Texas. Before politics, she worked for six years as a television reporter for KXAS-TV, Dallas' NBC affiliate.

KARL ROVE, 49. A veteran of Texas Republican politics and a longtime Bush family friend, Rove has been compared with the wizard behind the curtain of the Bush campaign. Pundits call him "Bush's brain." Rove got started in politics during the Nixon years as the head of the nationwide College Republicans, but he never finished college. He met the younger Bush while working for the governor's father in the early 1970s at the Republican National Committee, and he kept the contact alive after moving back to Austin in 1981 to set up his political consulting practice. After working for Texas Gov. Bill Clements, Rove became Bush's main political adviser in 1994. Last year he sold his consulting company when Bush announced for president.

-- SOURCES: USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, the National Journal, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Time.

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