On the Plane

Condi Compared to Colin

MADRID, June 1 -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice finally made it to Spain today, 2 1/2 years after taking up her post. The socialist Spanish government has been in the U.S. diplomatic doghouse ever since it abruptly pulled its troops out of Iraq.

Rice is barely spending any time here -- just six hours on the ground in a whirlwind series of meetings. But when the conservative party -- whose government was a strong Bush ally -- was in power, this magnificent city was visited probably every six months by Rice's predecessor, Colin L. Powell.

Powell, in fact, had such a close partnership with the-then foreign minister, Ana Palacio, that they spoke almost every day. During joint news conferences, Palacio's eyebrows would flutter when Powell lauded her and their working partnership. (Palacio later became World Bank counsel when Paul Wolfowitz became president.)

During a visit on May 1, 2003, Powell and Palacio strolled at length along the grounds of the La Quinta del Pardo, a 17th century palace in Madrid, looking at rosebushes and swans while chatting animately. Meeting with reporters later, Powell remarked: "The Minister is not exaggerating when she says that we speak to each other on a very regular basis. Frankly, it is almost daily. There is seldom a day that goes by when I do not hear from Ana, and as I'm going home in the evening, I always ask my staff, 'Has Anna called yet?'"

Palacio giggled.

Of course, on that same trip, Powell later flew to Damascus, Syria -- another place that Rice has yet to visit.

-- Glenn Kessler

By washingtonpost.com Editors |  June 1, 2007; 11:04 AM ET  | Trip:  Rice in Europe, May 2007
Previous: An Object Lesson in the Need to Think Boldly | Next: Rice's Shadow

Comments

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The author should note that Rice behaved like a rude brat, rolling her eyes, and mouthing an offensive comment to the US press, while the Spanish foreign minister was talking about Spain's position on Cuba.

As for Spain being in the US diplomatic deepfreeze, I can assure you that no Spaniard is losing any sleep about it, least of all the government members.

Powell has class and manners. Rice is just an arrogant little twit.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 2, 2007 2:39 PM

Kessler is usally fair, but I doubt that Condi Rice was rude. The upon comment is more from an anti-Bush writer than a pro-Powell writer.

Speaking of Condi: Did you see the shot at the Bush Administration and Secretary Condi Rice from Hillary last night during the debate? Hillary said this administration doesn't believe in diplomacy. Hmmm, it would see that sending Gov. Bill Richardson on an authorized misson to help deal with N Korea or that setting up bi-weekly meetings between Olmert and Abbas or flying to Russia, Japan, S Korea, and China escaped the eyes of Hillary. Could it be that Hillary is trying to diminish our own Secretary of State in order to blunt Condi's power on the world stage? Or was the motive more sinister----like facing Condi Rice on the 2008 ticket?

Posted by: Joe | June 4, 2007 3:35 PM

Truth is Dr. Rice logged more miles in the first six months that she was in office than Powell did in his entire career. If she "rolled her eyes and mouthed an offensive comment" (which is highly debatable) at the coward Spanish it is because they deserved it! It's obvious to even a fool what happened in Spain when they backed out. They exposed their underbelly and terrorist attacks escalated. They continue to be attacked to this very day. There are many Islamic extremist holdouts in Spain thanks to their limp wristed way of handling things. You cannot blame this on Dr. Rice. She has made huge strides in this world. Powell was just a lump on a log and pretty much useless!

Posted by: Tommy Watts | June 5, 2007 11:42 AM

of course colin powell visited these places. but that is only because up until the white house dumped powell because of his open minded agenda we had a foreign policy. now bushes "work out parner" over at state does what she is told and nothing beyond that. obviously whnever she makes any type of move that can remotely be percieved as independant, she wins a free trip to the cheney dog house. unfortunately that leaves her in the unenvious position of always having to play from behind the eight ball to likes of pelosi and clinton. womens rights you say? not in this white house. always walk three steps behind. kinda' like in the middle east.

Posted by: lonewolf | June 7, 2007 2:04 PM

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