November 16, 2004


Rice's NSC Tenure Complicates New Post: Failure to Manage Agency Infighting Cited (Glenn Kessler and Thomas E. Ricks, November 16, 2004, Washington Post)

Condoleezza Rice, who will be named as Colin L. Powell's replacement as early as today, has forged an extraordinarily close relationship with President Bush. But, paradoxically, many experts consider her one of the weakest national security advisers in recent history in terms of managing interagency conflicts.

Her appointment as secretary of state would be a first for a black woman, and it would mean an unquestioned Bush loyalist would be dispatched to run a critical department that the White House had come to view with suspicion.

But she will have to work hard to build bridges to State Department career officials, current and former officials said. Powell was considered a hero to the State Department bureaucracy because he won increases in funding and personnel, and many State Department officials are furious that the Bush White House frequently undercut Powell.

"State Department officials dislike her intensely because they love Powell and believe her staff demeaned the State Department," said one former State Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he frequently interacts with Rice.

Build bridges? She's there to burn them.

After day of cabinet resignations, many fear a shift to the right (Warren P. Strobel and Jonathan S. Landay, 11/15/04, Knight Ridder Newspapers)

At the State Department, officials said, Powell is expected to be accompanied out the door by virtually his entire management team: Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage; Undersecretary for Political Affairs Marc Grossman, the department's No. 3 official; Undersecretary for Management Grant Green; and several others.

"They're going to purge the State Department," said one of the senior officials, adding that he'd heard White House officials say: "The State Department doesn't get it. They're not on the president's message."

-Europe Recalls Low Points in Rice's Past (The Associated Press, Nov 16, 2004)
n Europe, it's hard for some to think of Condoleezza Rice Colin Powell's expected replacement as U.S. secretary of state without recalling the low points in trans-Atlantic relations that grew out of the war in Iraq.

After all, it was Rice who raised eyebrows last year with her Machiavellian suggestions for how Washington should treat European opponents of the U.S.-led invasion.

"Punish France, ignore Germany and forgive Russia," Rice was widely quoted as telling associates in the spring of 2003.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 16, 2004 11:04 AM

It was amusing to see Bill Richardson on Chris Matthews(?) commenting on the Rice nomination. He said roughly, "I hope she will be a realist and pragmatist, instead of an idealogue."

Can he really not know that her job will be to crush the realists and pragmatists that infest State?

Posted by: The Other Brother at November 16, 2004 12:33 PM

Only an utter idiot would consider it a "low point" for a National Security Advisor to make "Machivellean suggestions."

Posted by: Timothy at November 16, 2004 1:12 PM

Lileks today:

"Yay Condi Rice. I want her to go to Saudi Arabia, and I want her first words upon getting off the plane to be 'Iíll drive.'"

Posted by: Mike Morley at November 16, 2004 1:13 PM

What the devil did they think we were going to do? Send them Valentine's Day Cards? These realists need to get real. What's the use of being a hyper-power if you can't reward friends and punish enemies?

Posted by: Mikey at November 16, 2004 1:28 PM

I hardly call the girlyman surrender monkeys at State 'realists' in any sense of the word. It is the furthest thing from reality to believe that Old Europe, especially France, continues to matter in the slightest.

We can already see how the careerist pondscum at CIA have no concept of national loyalty whatsoever and leak like a rotting canoe to the press whatever horrible comes to their attention, as well as give deliberately false info to the policymaking teams. The situation at State is exponentially worse. I find it hard to believe that anyone would be able to change things without taking a clear bruising from the MSM.

Posted by: Bart at November 16, 2004 1:37 PM

I'm still waiting for "Punish France" part. I don't think Team America's visit to Paris counts.

Posted by: curt at November 16, 2004 1:43 PM

"Bush White House frequently undercut Powell"

I must have missed the memo that said the POTUS works for the State Dept and CIA.

Posted by: fred at November 16, 2004 1:53 PM


That's what Realism is.

Posted by: oj at November 16, 2004 7:29 PM

If Europe wants the US to consider European sensibilities, then they have to give America something to lose by not doing so.

Some people are having a really hard time accepting the fact that the only thing binding the US and Europe was a mutual desire to avert a Soviet invasion of Western Europe.

Now that the danger has passed, it's inevitable that we'd go our separate ways.
If it hadn't happened under Bush's administration, it would absolutely have happened under some future American President.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at November 16, 2004 9:56 PM