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February 13, 2005

Rice 'the rock star' steals hearts in America with jetset diplomacy

Topics: International News

AS AIR Force Two made its way across the Atlantic, its most important passenger took time off from her briefing papers and made her way to the back of the plane where 19 journalists were seated in the aircraft's cramped economy-class seats. Condoleezza Rice had a present for each of them.

Explaining that "we're going to travel a lot and I wouldn't want anyone to feel lost", she presented the assembled press pack with pocket world atlases, each signed by the new Secretary of State.

It was a thoughtful touch that impressed the travelling press corps and underlined the fact that the State Department is most definitely under new management.

In her first tour abroad since taking on the job, Rice has brought such dynamism to American foreign policy that the first signs of a campaign to persuade her to run for the White House has begun, setting up the tantalising prospect of a head to head with Hillary Clinton in 2008.

Dick Morris, the respected former adviser to ex-president Bill Clinton, believes "Rice the rock star" could be the answer to Republican fears of finding a suitable candidate to replace President George Bush. She might also be the only Republican capable of heading off a win by Clinton.

He described her as "a new force in American politics", and added: "As the Republican Party casts about for a viable presidential candidate in 2008 to keep Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton out of the White House, attention will inevitably focus on Rice, the woman who may stand between Clinton and the presidency."

Rice has perfect neo-conservative credentials, and she would also cut deep into traditional Democrat power bases, taking votes from African-Americans, Hispanics and single white women.

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Posted by Hyscience at February 13, 2005 7:34 PM

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