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™! Last week was totally topsy-turvy in Condiland, but not really in a fun way. There was that NIE thingy which made a lot of people uptight, an absolutely awful trip to Africa, which experts tell us is the land of her ancestors, and then on to Brussels, where half the people wouldn't shut up about Iran, and the other half nagged her about the possibly fictional land of Kosovo. But first! Gay rumors! Relive the memories of photo-ops past after the jump!
OK, so first up is last Sunday's ridiculous thing in the Times UK about how everything Condi worked so hard for in Annapolis was overshadowed by lesbian rumors because of a brief, vague mention in the National Enquirer. The only problem with this thesis is that nobody was talking about the National Enquirer thing, so whatever. It's kinda funny, but I think we're pretty much done here. Look, I'm not going to be satisfied with Condi/Lesbo stuff until there's actual bacon-strip-level detail involved.
Speaking of homos! OK, so Condi hired this ambassador guy who was a total hairdresser, and then the guy ended up quitting because he didn't think the State Department was nice enough to his boyfriend! I know, right? So what does he do? He has a going away party, and just totally, totally trashes Condi in front of just everybody! I mean... couldn't he have hired a band for entertainment?
I think Condi thought Monday was going to be pretty low-key despite the gay ambassador attack. She got to see her friend Karen Hughes, who I thought retired, she spoke at the Aspen Institute, and then met with some Freedom Guys from Belarus, and from the looks of them, they tried to sell her insurance or something. But then, OMG, the whole NIE thing came out and I think that everybody running around waving their hands in the air is probably the most accurate way to describe what happened in Washington, DC next.
Condi's clever response was Hey! Nobody's paying attention to me right now, so I'll hire Paul Wolfowitz while nobody's looking! And she did! But no, people were going to keep bugging her about the Iran thing. Her response was the same as Stephen Hadley and all the rest of them: blah, blah, blah, Iran is still dangerous, blah, blah, blah. The trend seemed to be to cast Condi in the role of the dove in opposition to Dick Cheney's hawk, but everybody seems to forget that she can only be considered a dove in comparison to Dick Cheney, so it's totally not even fair.
Wednesday was Africa Day! Yes, Dr. Ferragamo made a one-day trip to Ethiopia with a hilariously overarching agenda: to solve all of Africa's problems! In one day! "Ms Rice's visit looks like a hasty bit of pre-Christmas window-dressing," wrote one ungrateful Eritrean in anticipation of her visit. "In a hectic series of meetings in the Ethiopian capital," writes AP's Anita Powell, "Rice tried to calm the volatile Great Lakes region, ease rising tensions between Ethiopia and Eritrea and violence in Somalia, cool the conflict in Sudan's Darfur province, and salvage a shaky north-south Sudan peace deal." As far as I can tell, none of Condi's all-day-long easing, calming, cooling or salvaging made much of an impact. And then, I guess, she went to sleep, visions of cooperative, friendly natives dancing in her head.
Want some irony? OK! Just as Condi was selflessly straightening out the Africans, one of her fellow African Americans was utterly tearing her a new one in a fabulously mean opinion piece in Wednesday's Guardian. Wow, but the British Press is over her! Candace Allen's piece is helpfully titled "She's the most powerful black woman in the world. Why can't I stand the sight of her?" just in case you aren't sure what you're getting into. And, oh! My dear! The histrionics are beyond belief! But you know what? This is the second assistant director of Super Fly and Ghost Dad talking, so I'm willing to listen! My favorite part is the final paragraph, because it sounds a little bit complimentary, but it turns out she's being sneaky:
I may be sentimental, but African-American sentimentality is but American sentimentality. Creating and trading on her exceptionalism, Rice has gone far further than most of us. Is this proof of her superiority, her willingness to adapt, or both? Despite her disassociation from the life and messages of Martin Luther King, she is the epitome of his wish for his children that they be judged "not by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character". In this, most certainly, if not in all that she might have imagined, Condoleezza Rice has succeeded.
Ouch! So after fixing Africa and recovering from the stinging words from the American America haters at the Guardian, Condi headed to Brussels on Thursday for a big NATO party and wouldn't you know it? Everybody wanted to talk about that stupid NIE thingy which just clung to Condi all week like a not-very-adorable monkey on her back. But the good news? She got Germany and France to promise to continue feeling way edgy about Iran.
But then, unfortunately, a bunch of them got bored with talking about Iran and started in with all the Kosovo stuff! I mean... you guys! She just saved Africa! Cut the lady some slack, please. And, of course, it was all the Russians' fault, as it always is when Condi's around. Yay! See, and you thought all Condi's knowledge of the Commies was irrelevant, when all the time she's making her worst fears come true! So that was Brussels: a lot of people bugging Condi about stuff they don't really want her to be involved with, anyway. Awkward!
And on top of everything else, the guy Condi put in charge of ignoring Blackwater up and quit! So kind of an ew week, huh? What can we learn from it? This: don't rush Condi! With all the willy-nilly rushing around, she didn't have a single decent photo-op, and that, my friends, is tragic. That's a week we'll never get back. That African trip could have been a real bonanza. But onward! What madcap adventures will Madame Secretary encounter this week? And what about the evil Waxman, her arch enemy? He hasn't caught up with Condi yet! Stay tuned!
EXTRA! Elizabeth Bumiller's Condiography comes out tomorrow! That's right! It's still not out! For your convenience, here's a guide to the midnight openings and parties in the DC area so that you can be the first on your block to own a copy of An American Life:
* Borders Books: No events scheduled.
* Barnes and Noble: No events scheduled.
* Politics and Prose: No events scheduled.
* Kramerbooks: No events scheduled.
* Olsson's Books: No events scheduled.
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