October 24, 2005


The Condi Show (including some guy called Jack Straw) hits the road – but with no end in sight: It looks like a Presidential campaign even if no one involved is saying so (David Charter, 10/24/05, Times of London)

AT THE start of their unconventional bonding weekend in the Deep South, Jack Straw risked offending Condoleezza Rice by dismissing American football as “rugby with commercials”.

By the time he saw Brodie Croyle throw a 44-yard pass to clinch Alabama Crimson Tide’s narrow victory against their arch-rivals, the Tennessee Volunteers, the Foreign Secretary was on his feet yelling alongside the US Secretary of State and 90,000 other fans.

Dr Rice, tipped as a possible future commissioner of the National Football League, had won him round to her favourite spectator sport.

But while Mr Straw fulfilled his goal of learning more about his counterpart’s roots, the three-day “backyard bilateral” left the South wondering if Dr Rice had a different job in mind after the State Department. [...]

Asked if America was ready for an unmarried black woman president, Bubba Wingo, a 52-year-old white devotee of the Alabama Crimson Tide, said: “That can be overcome. Being from the South, I think a lot of that is behind us now. At one time it would have been a big obstacle, but not any more.”

If she returns the favor and goes to a soccer game she'll never win an American election.

Diplomacy or campaign trail for Rice? (Jonathan Beale, 10/23/05, BBC News)

It took a small girl at Condoleezza Rice's old elementary school in Birmingham, Alabama, to ask the question most of us reporters had been thinking.

She wanted to know whether the US Secretary of State thought the US would ever have a woman president.

There was no real doubt as to what she was thinking: could she be looking at a future contender for the White House?

Ms Rice replied yes, she thought it would happen, before adding - her now well rehearsed denial - that she herself was not interested in running for office.

Maybe, but everything about this trip to her home state of Alabama - Republican to the core - had the feel of a campaign tour.

On Trip to South, Rice Uses an Atypical Topic: Herself (STEVEN R. WEISMAN, 10/24/05, NY Times)
At the University of Alabama this weekend, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice seemed taken aback when the chairwoman of the campus College Republicans asked for advice on how to prepare for a career in politics. With a chuckle, Ms. Rice turned to her guest, Jack Straw, the British foreign secretary, for the answer.

"He's actually run for office," she said. "I haven't."

But all weekend long, Ms. Rice seemed to be running for something. It was not, her aides maintained, for office, though she was greeted like a superstar everywhere, with an explosion of cheers at the Alabama-Tennessee football game on Saturday when she entered the field of Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa with Mr. Straw for the ceremonial toss of the coin.

Ms. Rice insisted, on the contrary, that she was seeking to bring foreign policy issues to people outside Washington and, more important, to use the triumphant story of the civil rights movement to counsel patience and understanding for skeptics who believe that democracy cannot flourish in Iraq and the Middle East.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 24, 2005 9:07 AM

The only safer bet than that Hillary will be the Dem nominee in '08 is that Condi will be on the GOP ticket, probably as VP this time...

Posted by: b at October 24, 2005 11:17 AM

Methinks the Soccer-phobes will have just as much influence as the Miersphobes.

I'd love to see Condi at a Blackburn -- Straw's constituency Rovers match. They play Chelski 10/29. Get in there Condi.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at October 24, 2005 11:25 AM

I have to wonder if the Crimson Tide fan was pulling the leg of the Times' reporter when he gave his name as 'Bubba Wingo'.

Posted by: Mike Earl at October 24, 2005 12:07 PM

I don't think the reporter would care if he was.

Posted by: RC at October 24, 2005 3:24 PM

If Condi goes to a soccer game, she'll also never get her coveted job as NFL commissioner, either.

Posted by: John at October 24, 2005 3:39 PM