S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Politics & Emotion - Part Two

Secretary of State Condi Rice and Senator Hillary Clinton are named as two of the 10 most Powerful American Women in "WomenWho Rock", a booklet available from (It is the document title linked above). Yesterday the focus was somewhat on Senator Clinton; today it is on Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice.

Secretary Rice has often been in the news recently. She was mentioned in connection with the Commissioner of Baseball's position, and she has recently been traveling abroad. Lots of people speculate about her political ambitions and performance. This (3/27/06) US News and World Report carried a couple of interesting little blurbs about Secretary Rice, which I quote:

California Condi Has a Nice RingShe doesn't want to run the country, she says, but Condoleezza Rice is the hottest thing in politics right now. Pollster Frank Luntz did a straw poll at the recent California Republican convention. Guess who won? Stanford University's provost before joining the Bush administration, Rice was first with 29 percent, followed by Virginia Sen. George Allen at 26 percent and former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani at 16 percent. What's it mean? With Rice on the 2008 ticket, even as veep, California could go Republican.
Inside Washington - Republicans point out that Condoleezza Rice's taking over the State Department has led to new thinking and energy there. This has apparently encouraged Bush to heed the recommendations of his secretary of state more than he accepted the thinking of Colin Powell, Rice's predecessor, who tangled often with Vice President Cheney and Rumsfeld.

Secretary of State Rice met this week with several foreign ministers in Berlin about the nuclear threat from Iran. This is her most primary responsibility, to be our nation's diplomatic representative on the world scene, talking tough to Iran. The meetings were covered by the BBC News in this article from March 30. To quote,

Iran given stark nuclear choice

Iran insists its nuclear programme is for peaceful meansIran has 30 days to return to the negotiating table or face isolation, foreign ministers from the US and five other major powers have warned. The comments at talks in Berlin reinforced a deadline in a statement by the UN Security Council, which urged Iran to halt uranium enrichment. . .
The Berlin talks included the five veto-wielding permanent members of the Council - the US, China, France, Russia and the UK - as well as Germany. The foreign ministers were discussing what to do if Iran refused to drop its nuclear ambitions. Their talks came a day after the UN Security Council finally approved a non-binding call on Iran to end uranium enrichment, after weeks of wrangling.
"Iran has a choice between isolation brought about through enrichment" or a return to talks, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the meeting sent "a very strong signal to Iran that the international community is united".The British foreign secretary said "the onus is on Iran to show the international community that its programme is entirely for civil purposes".
Yesterday found Condoleeza Rice in the United Kingdom. Things were not going well for her on this leg of the trip. Iraq hangs like an albatross around her neck, according to the New York Times story by Joel Brinkley - 3/31/06 quote,

Ms. Rice wanted to meet Paul McCartney later in the day, when they were here in Liverpool. But he said he could not make it, so Ms. Rice visited the Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts, where he was once a student. She listened to a brief choral presentation in the Paul McCartney Theater.
Half a dozen students, with the school director's permission, lined up just inside the school's front door and stood with arms crossed over black T-shirts that read: "No torture. No compromise."
In response to a question at one point, Ms. Rice acknowledged that the Bush Administration had made "tactical errors, a thousand of them, I am sure" in Iraq and perhaps elsewhere. She was speaking figuratively, her spokesman said later.
Ms. Rice asserted that whatever tactical failures there may have been, the strategic decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power had been right. "Saddam Hussein was not going anywhere without a military intervention," she said. . . .
One of her hosts, Lord Hurd, who was the foreign secretary under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, spoke just before she did. Without naming anyone or any country, he complained, "The world only works if the world's only superpower follows the rules like everyone else," and spoke of "the killing of thousands by foreign invaders."
Ms. Rice did not respond. She said she had expected the antiwar protests, but she probably had not expected the continuing problems with the visit. In Birmingham she and Mr. Straw had visited the 16th Street Baptist Church. In Blackburn, the two intended to visit a mosque — a useful political symbol for both of them. But the mosque's leaders canceled the visit, citing threats by protesters to disrupt the service.
Friday night she attended a performance by the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, but one prominent performer refused to attend, in protest against the Iraq war.
Even her first stop on Friday morning, at a British Aerospace plant that is making parts of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, seemed anticlimactic. The fighter, a joint project of the United States and its Western allies, has not yet received full financing. The shop floor was deserted.
Protests have marked the trip, but it has not deterred the woman whom some say is "made of iron." (See my previous post on Rice - "Condoleezza's Iron". Secretary Rice met later on Saturday with Muslim leaders in the Blackburn area, Reuters reported in a subsequent article.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met Muslim leaders in northwest England on Saturday in a trip during which protesters expressed anger that an architect of the Iraqwar was on their home turf.
About 300 protesters chanted slogans such as "Condoleezza Rice Go Home" and "No War" while Rice and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw spoke with Muslim leaders at the town hall. The protesters' noisy cries were clearly audible at a news
conference after the meeting.
Rice waved at supporters and protesters alike on her arrival and seemed undeterred by the demonstrators, who were kept behind barriers by dozens of police, some on horseback.
"They (protesters) have their freedom of speech and I'm glad they did it," said Mayor Yusef Janvirmani, who shook hands with protesters before formally welcoming Rice.
The mayor, who opposes the war in Iraq, said Rice was welcome in his town and her visit would be good for the region's economy. Any publicity was good publicity, he said. Rice told the news conference she thought she had been "very warmly welcomed" to Blackburn and had enjoyed her visit.

Magdi Kahlil, writing for the 10/1/05 Middle East Transparent, gives Secretary Rice a kind of "six months performance evaluation." It is a very interesting piece that gives much insight into who she is, and what she is about. To quote,
On July 26th, Condoleezza Rice completed six months as Secretary of State, and she is traditionally due for a performance evaluation at the end of this period. Condi is the 66th secretary of State in the history of the United States, and she has earned a place in history by being the first African-American female to hold this position, and the second female, preceded only by Madeleine Albright, in the history of America’s Secretaries of State. She also happens to be the first female to hold the position of National Security Advisor, and the first since Kissinger to make the move to the Department of State, and perhaps the first to get as close to the American President as to be considered family.
There is a chance she would become the first female to run for presidency, and though she denies it, the idea has obviously occurred to others who are seriously promoting it, and the website was created for that purpose.
Tags: My "creative post" today at Southwest Blogger is about the time change.

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