Monday, November 15, 2004

Condi replaces Powell

Bush has reportedly tapped National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice to be the next Secretary of State. This strikes me as an excellent trade. Dr. Rice has the political savvy, intelligence, and calm personality to reassure and foster good relationships with other heads of state. More importantly, Dr. Rice is absolutely committed to Bush's war strategy and will not send mixed messages about U.S. intent to either friend or foe. Powell, and the entire State Department under his watch, had a troublesome tendency to allow discordant leaks and to muddle Administration policy with his own public statements.

On a related note, I hope that Rice is under orders from Bush to clean house at the State Department. There are too many career diplomats and bureucrats over there dedicated to their own career advancement and not committed, or even in opposition to fighting the War. Rice is committed, and she needs to make sure that the establishment at State is committed as well.

The question now becomes, who does Bush name to replace Rice as NSA? Personally, I would love to see Paul Wolfowitz in that position, but he would probably be too much of a political lightning rod. Someone like former CIA Director James Woolsey would also be an excellent choice. We'll see what the buzz is by the end of the week.