Foreign Affairs: A Little Ditty About Condi and Jack

The hard copy of today's Washington Post contains this photograph and caption:


The road trip by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has personified the "special relationship" of the United States and Britain.

Ah, the power of scare quotes! It's amazing what such innocuous-looking punctuation marks can do.

In the online version, the Posties have toned down the caption innuendo. But the article, by Glenn Kessler, is still full of disturbingly suggestive references:

A sly smile began to form on Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's face as British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw explained Monday why they had the authority to put pressure on Iraqi politicians to form a government. The massive investment of money and manpower by the United States and Britain, he said, gave them "a right to say, 'We've got to be able to deal with Mr. A, Mr. B or Mr. C. We can't deal with Mr. Nobody.' "

Rice broke in, "Jack, I'm sure we'd be all right with Miss A or Miss B or Miss C, too, right?" As reporters burst out laughing, Straw put a hand against his face and recovered, "Yeah, we would. . . . "

Flirtatious banter between foreign ministers? Clearly we have a romantic comedy on our hands. We nominate Halle Berry and Hugh Grant for the leads.

Additional excerpts and commentary appear after the jump.

On Thursday, they were in Berlin, jawboning the Russians and Chinese on Iran's nuclear program. Rice took a brief detour to Paris and then ended up that same day in Liverpool, England. On Friday and Saturday, Straw squired her around the former Beatles haunt and the town of Blackburn, which he represents in Parliament.

Squiring -- isn't that what playboys do with hot young models?

Aides say they genuinely like each other and -- unlike many high-powered figures -- don't seem to get on each other's nerves. Straw is the only foreign minister Rice will regularly pick up the phone and call, rather than having the State Department operations center arrange the conversation.

Direct, one-on-one telephone contact? Cleary a veiled suggestion of phone sex.

When they flew overnight to Baghdad, Rice gave Straw the bed in her cabin and slept on the floor in the aisle, prompting the Guardian newspaper to quip that Straw had been "embedded." Straw said he thought Rice had another bed on the plane and was mortified the next morning when he discovered she had slept on the floor.

"Embedded"? Hehe, gotta love those Brits.

Glenn: If you're trying to tell us something, why not just come out and say it?

(On the other hand, one can't read too much into the fact that Condi let Jack have the bed. That woman is so hard core, she sleeps on the floor for fun.)

On the Road With Condi and Jack [WP]


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