On the Plane

Sweating for Peace


The Fitness magazine spread on Secretary of State Rice.

BUCHAREST, Romania -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has joined President Bush on his trip, flying in on her own jet from Jordan and catching up to the Commander in Chief in Ukraine before coming here for the NATO summit that opens tonight. As our colleague, Glenn Kessler, wrote this week, Rice has been quite the globetrotter these past few months, challenging Henry Kissinger's record for foreign travel.

So with all that frequent flying, how does she keep in such good shape? Fitness magazine has the sweaty scoop with an interview and photo spread showing America's chief diplomat doing tummy crunches and working with weights under the direction of her personal trainer. "How does one of the most controversial figures in the White House today seem to shut it all down, throw on a sports bra and let the pressures of the day slide off her back?" the magazine teased in its introduction.

Hmmm. We're not sure what Kissinger would think. Or for that matter the Saudis or the Pakistanis.

But Rice walked the magazine through her regimen, describing how she gets up at 4:30 a.m. and exercises on the treadmill or elliptical machine watching SportsCenter highlights until 5:30, when she heads into work. She's always asleep by 10 p.m., she said, and she restricts herself to healthy meals during the week but permits herself fried chicken or anything else she wants on the weekends. As a little girl, she reveals, she was "a little chubbette," but now she's a fitness fiend who, like lots of others, wants to be like Mike. "Michael Jordan is probably the most beautiful athlete of all time," she gushed.

This reminds us of the wickedly funny anecdote in Kessler's recent book, "The Confidante: Condoleezza Rice and the Creation of the Bush Legacy." One of Rice's friends during a party wanted to prove how tight her bottom was, so without her realizing what he was doing, he bounced a quarter off her tush while she was dancing.

Memo to NATO ministers: Don't try this at the receptions here in Bucharest.

-- Peter Baker

In Today's Post: Bush Pressing NATO to Set Membership Path for Ukraine, Georgia

Online: Photo Gallery of Bush's Trip

By washingtonpost.com Editors |  April 2, 2008; 9:26 AM ET  | Trip:  Bush in Eastern Europe, April 2008
Previous: Bush Counsels Ukraine's Squabbling Leaders | Next: Safety First, Even for the Press Corps

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Kissinger didn't exercise. NBC correspondent Richard Valeriani wrote a book about him in the late 1970s, quoting a massage therapist who claimed Kissinger didn't have a muscle in his entire body. Both his parents lived into their 90s, so he probably figured he didn't need to worry about keeping in shape.

Posted by: Zathras | April 3, 2008 2:10 PM

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