Condoleezza's Glamorous World of Dinner Parties & 9/11
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™!
Condi was back in Foggy Bottom 24/7 last week, and you know what that means: photo-ops, photo-ops, photo-ops! Indeed, the State Department's reception room was a revolving door to all kinds of diplobots from strategically unchallenging countries. And somebody had the nerve to call Our Heroine incompetent. Why do they keep doing that? So mean! Join me after the jump for a Condiological safari through the last seven days...
First off: Aussies! Condi loves the Aussies, even if she maybe used to love them a little bit more. You see, throughout the whole Bush Administration, there have been these wonderfully supportive guys in the obviously misnamed Liberal Party, and they were all, like, totally gung-ho about Iraq 'n such. Now, tragically, those people are all gone, and Condi had to break in the new guy, Stephen Smith. The good news? He's totally handsome (all large photos by Associated Press):
The bad news? He totally bores the shit out of Condi:
Things perked up, though, at their presser, when the dashing man from Perth broke the ice by bringing up Condi's favorite aphrodisiac, travel:
Foreign Minister Smith: Could I say that from a selfish, personal point of view, as a person who comes from Perth and Western Australia, one of the most enjoyable parts of the meeting was inviting the Secretary to come to visit Perth and Western Australia, which I'm happy to announce she gratefully accepted, so I'm very pleased to say that not only will formal conversations continue in the usual way, but at some stage in the course of this year, we'll see Secretary Rice in Perth and Western Australia. Thank you.
SECRETARY RICE: I very much look forward to that and I see smiles on the faces of my traveling press corps, so [I] look forward to it.
And that, my friends, is why more mean things aren't said about Our Girl. Treat your traveling press corps right and just watch the flattering portrayals roll in. Clever!
Did you forget Albania existed? Hey, it's understandable. Condi got reminded on Tuesday when she ushered the Albanian foreign minister into her matching armchairs parlor. Supposedly they talked about the probably fictional country joining the cool kids in NATO and also the Kosovo place people keep bugging Condi about. The funny thing, though, is that their meeting was apparently so totally boring that at the inevitable press availability, Condi only took one question, and that was about Albania's close neighbor... um, Kenya. I think maybe Condi was a little creeped out by the guy, though, because he looks like a cross between Mr. Bean and Syler from Heroes (couture fans should note, also, that Condi wore her Manolos again):
Wednesday was a big uh-oh day at the State Department, because some guy, Philip Shenon, who was on the 9/11 Report Club, wrote a whole book about what a fiasco the commission was. It turns out that another guy in the group, Philip Zelikow (battle of the Philips!), was pretty much a mole for Condi and the White House, and his secret job was to make sure nothing too mean was said about any of them. Shenon claims that Zelikow tried to squelch reports that Condi's efforts as national security adviser "amount to incompetence, or something not far from it."
Meanwhile, Condi just wanted to talk about her little study group, the Transformational Diplomatic Advisory Board, which I think has something to do with spreading Taco Bell 'n voting for chicks to the Middle East. My favorite part was when Condi told her study pals that she "enjoyed consulting and sharing ideas and having dinner with you once in a while over the past 18 months." Nice! You know, if all serious government investigations were approached as a series of rotating dinner parties, wouldn't the world be a better place?
Mostly, though, Madame Secretary used the occasion to lavish praise on her BFF, John Negroponte: "John is such an extraordinary person with such extraordinary experience and has also helped to lead this department very well. So John, as we undertake the implementations of these recommendations, I just wanted everyone to know what an extraordinary honor and privilege it is to work with you every day." Extraordinary!
Finally, on Friday, it was time for Condi to pretend to not forget Poland, just as she had not forgotten Albania earlier in the week. The most humorous thing about their "dueling podiums" presser was that the Polish guy kept forgetting what country he was in and speaking Polish, and Condi kept laughing and reminding him to speak English. No, really! It was sooo cute! This lightened the mood and you can tell she liked him a lot more than the Aussie guy:
And that was the Condiweek! Pretty standard stuff, sure, but our plucky gal is always good for a chuckle or two. Just one last thing, though! Wouldn't you like the world, or at least your coworkers, know how much you love Condi? Of course you would! And that's why you need one of these:
PREVIOUSLY: Condoleezza Dream Team: McCain and Rice '08!