Thursday, January 27, 2005

Secretary of State

Today was Dr. Condoleeza Rice's first day on the job as Secretary of State. Dr. Rice has impressive academic credentials and extensive experience in foreign policy. In addition, Dr. Rice has an inspiring personal story. Yet, Dr. Rice was met with stern opposition from many Senate Democrats. Although her confirmation was inevitable, several Democrats seized on the opportunity to take shots at the current Bush agenda in Iraq. Senator Boxer (D-CA) went so far as to call Dr. Rice a liar during the committee hearings. In the end, Rice was confirmed by a vote of 85-13 in the Senate. This may sound like solid margin, but only Henry Clay in 1825 was met with more opposition than Dr. Rice. Even Henry Kissinger, at the height of the Vietnam War, was confirmed by a margin of 78-7. The other two closest votes were Dean Acheson (83-6) and Alexander Haig (93-6).

Some of the more notable votes against Rice came from Jumpin' Jim Jeffords, John F. Kerry and Robert "Sheets" Byrd. I'm not sure what these Democrats were hoping to accomplish by damaging Dr. Rice's credibility before inevitably sending her out to represent our nation to the world. But, how surprised can you really be that a sabateur, Bush's vanquished foe and a former Klansman opposed the highly qualified Dr. Rice?