Condi's Saddest Condiweek Launches Condiweek '08
Each week, veteran Condiwatcher Peter Huestis (also known as Princess Sparkle Pony) provides a summary of the searing wit and infinite wisdom of America's Favorite Princess Diplomat™!
I'll be honest with you: It wasn't the Condiweek of all Condiweeks. One of her diplomatic BFFs got assassinated, Condi's democracy didn't work out so well in Kenya, and instead of glamorous foreign guests, she only got visits from Bulgaria and Libya. But how can we learn all there is to know about the adorable Foggy Bottom hostess with the mostest if we don't try to understand these "down times" together?
Let's backtrack just a tad to December 29: Condi's 2007 ended on a sour note when she had to say goodbye to BFF Benazir Bhutto. Luckily, she didn't have to go far, because Pakistan has an embassy right here in Washington! So Condi put on her brave face and her most appropriate black-ish suit and stopped by to sign the official condolence book. AP's Charles Dharapak caught the historic note:
Wait, what's that? Can you read her crampy writing? Something about excrement to freedom? What?
OK, so that was IT for us Condiwatchers until the end of the week! Almost seven days without photo-ops! How on Earth did I survive such dark times? (My Wonkette colleagues pretty much answer that question with one voice: alcohol. Lots and lots of alcohol. And you know what? They're right!)
Anyway, that came to an end on Thursday, when Madame Secretary met with the foreign minister of Libya, and let's give a polite golf clap to Condi, I guess, because that's the first time that's happened for, like, 300 years or something. The meeting was supposedly cordial, but Condi pressed the once-pariah nation to pay up for some of its past naughtiness, like the 1986 Berlin disco bombing, which sounds fabulous but wasn't. The funniest thing about the meeting? The State Department claimed that Libya's dismal human rights record was discussed, but then Libya immediately set the record straight: "There was absolutely no mention of the human rights situation in Libya during the discussions in Washington between the foreign minister and the U.S. foreign minister." Way to go, Condi! It would be rude to bring up something so uncomfortable on a first date, after all.
Also somewhere along the line last week, bad things happened in Kenya? This was confusing to me, because I thought that Our Heroine had fixed all of Africa's problems several weeks ago on her ambitious "one day to solve everything" trip to the region. Why didn't they just listen to her and stop all the nonsense? These new developments were a real inconvenience, and Condi had to make three tiresome phone calls, maybe even more, because of the mess.
I like to think that Dr. Ferragamo woke up on Friday determined to meet with an important ambassador from a strategically crucial nation, but then after her shower, changed her mind and decided to meet with Bulgaria instead. That's Ivailo Kalfin, the Balkan paradise's less glamorous version of Condi, and it seemed like a cute meeting. The Bulgaria guy talked a little about Kosovo, but whatever. In the end, Condi and her new friend signed "a bilateral U.S.-Bulgaria Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement." A what, you say? A completely meaningless, non-binding photo-op, I respond. Haven't you been paying attention? This is what passes for results in Condiland: science and technology cooperation agreements with countries not exactly famous for contributions to either. But it's nice, OK? And it's nice to be nice!
And that's it for this week's roundup! I openly acknowledge that it's pretty much the worst ever. Does this worry me? Oh, heck no. I am confident that Ms. Rice will continue to delight and entertain us throughout the year and beyond. In closing, let me just point you towards the Atlantic Free Press, which just awarded Our Favorite with one of their prestigious WTF (I'm pretty sure that stands for Why, That's Fantastic!) Awards, specifically the Marcel Marceau Award "for traveling around the world and saying absolutely nothing for twelve months running."
And that, my friends, is a talent that isn't going away any time soon. Stay tuned!
PREVIOUSLY: 2007: Awkwardest Condiyear EVER