Condi Rice Is Incompetent

Memo To: Website Fans, Browsers, Clients From: Jude Wanniski Re: But I would have voted for her

President Bush at his press conference this morning promised that Condoleezza Rice will be “a great Secretary of State.” From her earliest days as Governor George W Bush’s foreign-policy advisor in 1999 as he prepared to run for President I could see she was in over her head, and in the last four years I did not see any improvement. It had been obvious to me that the neo-cons had arranged through former Secretary of State George Shultz to have her brought to the White House from Stanford, where she had taught Russian history, because she could be manipulated. Sure enough, as soon as Governor Bush decided she was a sweetie pie with a high IQ, she brought Paul Wolfowitz to Crawford to meet up with W, and within a week, Wolfie brought Richard Perle to Crawford. Even then they were planning the war with Iraq and to this day Condi does not know how all that happened.

Still, I would have voted to confirm her with all the reservations expressed by Delaware Sen. Joe Biden and Rhode Island Republican Lincoln Chafee. First, because the President could have picked someone worse and probably would have. Second, because Dr. Rice chose Bob Zoellick as her Deputy at State and Zoellick is a marvelous diplomat who was U.S. Trade Representative over the last four years and is a protg of former Treasury Secretary and Secretary of State James Baker III – and Baker is very definitely not a neo-con, and neither is Zoellick. Third, because Condi seems to have been persuaded to let go of John Bolton, the maniacal arms-control officer at State. Colin Powell may have had his heart in the right place at State, but his deputy, Rich Armitage, was just a rubber stamp, and Bolton had been placed at State by the Perle Cabal to undermine Powell’s diplomatic initiatives. The Cabal prefers war to diplomacy, which is what we should expect from lifelong Cold Warriors.

So given these personnel changes, I can at least hope that there will be a steady change in direction at State and little-by-little the USA can regain the confidence of the rest of the world, which it now does not have.

If you would like to see the record of my commentaries on Condi over the last four years you can do a site search at by typing in “Condoleezza” and you will find 57 pieces that are either devoted exclusively to her performance or reference her. I can’t recall any positives in the skein. Here is one of my favorites, from October 10, 2003.

Political Theatre

LRC Blog

LRC Podcasts