As Condi Rice shows, it takes a Village all right, just not the kind Hillary Clinton had in mind
Early word has it that La Condi's book is even better than the G. W. Bush administration tell-little books by Chimpy himself, Donald Rumsfeld, "Big Dick" Cheney, and Hank Paulson. Wow!
Oh, those Village people! The Village of D.C. is of course more a spiritual place than an actual geographical location, and as the item from Al Kamen's Washington Post "In the Loop" column yesterday called "Names were dropped" shows, the boundaries can stretch all the way to the West Coast.
Al refers us to the “'exclusive excerpt' last week in the Daily Beast" from "what we’ve been told -- our review copy must have gotten lost in the mail -- is an excellent memoir of [Condoleezza Rice's] time as national security adviser and secretary of state during the George W. Bush administration," noting that
my Post colleague Glenn Kessler colleague wrote Tuesday that “No Higher Honor” is “the first serious memoir of the Bush presidency” — thus cavalierly dismissing a quartet of tomes by Bush himself, Don Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and Hank Paulson. Indeed, the first three — haven’t read Paulson’s — were largely self-justifying ruminations of the authors’ excellent performance in office.
Rice’s, on the other hand, despite some flaws, is reported to be a much more candid assessment of her eight years at the very top of the foreign policy decision-making world during the Bush presidency. Serious policy wonks will find much to ponder.
Al reports on the excerpt's account of "the late dictator Moammar Gaddafi’s obsession with [Condi] and her 2008 meeting with him, which she labels 'historic.'" But he's most intrigued by
an odd digression in which she writes that she stopped in Portugal en route to Tripoli. The purpose of the stop, which goes unmentioned, was to try to get Portugal to agree to take some of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.
Rice writes that she also asked the Portuguese foreign minister for advice on how to handle the wacky dictator.
Most curiously, she tells us she was “staying with my friends Ambassador Thomas Stephenson and his wife, Barbara.” (Stephenson was a venture capitalist and major Bush donor.) An oddly extraneous detail. Seems almost a private shout-out to some pals, or maybe a product placement in a movie. [That's Mrs. S in the picture. -- Ed.]
The Daily Beast, apparently without realizing it, gives a clue by quickly following the Gaddafi encounter excerpt with a brief bio of Rice, not in the book itself, that says she “is the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution” at Stanford University. That’s also the job she had before she became national security adviser.
Oh. That Thomas and Barbara Stephenson.
Just a small reminder of how these folks really do take care of one another.