SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

November 24, 2012

Column: Rice falls short on diplomacy

(Continued)

A column by the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank recounts many similar instances. He says Rice was among the first former Clinton administration staffers to defect from Hillary Clinton to the Obama campaign in the 2008 Democratic primary. She criticized Clinton’s positions on Iran and Iraq as critical judgments that Clinton got wrong.

Milbank also recounts that when McCain ran for president in 2008, Rice mocked McCain’s trip to Iraq (strolling around the market in a flak jacket), called his policies “reckless,” and said “his tendency is to shoot first and ask questions later. It’s dangerous.” At least her remarks came from an expert perspective, she having committed similar political sins.

Milbank’s list of Rice’s faux pas goes on and on.

Obama’s recent leap to Rice’s defense shows he is or was putting her at or near the top of his list of candidates for secretary of state. She is said to be close to him and that is an asset. She is clearly scary-smart, and that is an asset as well, as is her impressive record in the field of foreign affairs.

But all that said, none of her glossy credentials would be worth the pain and damage she might inflict on U.S. relations with another country or countries if she repeated one of her outbursts while representing our interests. The president, of all people, should know this.

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Bonnie Erbe, host of PBS’ “To the Contrary,” writes this column for Scripps Howard News Service.

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