Condoleezza Rice Exercises Foreign Policy at the Gym


You by now have heard about the Mideast peace talks this week at Annapolis, which Reuters reports Arabs are already calling a sham: “Arab commentators on Wednesday dismissed the relaunch of Israeli-Palestinian talks as a U.S.-staged media event unlikely to lead to Middle East peace. Some argued that U.S. President George W. Bush’s real aim in convening Tuesday’s conference in Annapolis, Maryland, was to rescue his image after failures in Iraq and Afghanistan, or to persuade Arab states their deadliest foe was Iran, not Israel.”

CondigymJoe at Americablog and Michelangelo Signorile pointed me to this searing passage in Maureen Dowd’s column about Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her assessment of foreign conflicts, citing bits from a new biography by the NYT’s Elisabeth Bumiller:

“In 2006, when Israel invaded Lebanon and many civilians died, including children, Condi and W. drew Arab and U.N. ire for not forcing Ehud Olmert to broker a cease-fire faster. That same year, in another instance of spectacular willful ignorance, she was blindsided by the Hamas win in the Palestinian elections. As she described it to Bumiller, she went upstairs at 5 a.m. the morning after the Palestinian elections in 2006 to the gym in her Watergate apartment to exercise on her elliptical machine. She saw the news crawl reporting the Hamas victory. ‘I thought, ‘Well, that’s not right,’ ‘ she said. She kept exercising for awhile but finally got off the elliptical trainer and called the State Department. ‘I said, ‘What happened in the Palestinian elections?’ and they said, ‘Oh, Hamas won.’ And I thought, ‘Oh, my goodness! Hamas won?’ ‘ When she couldn’t reach the State Department official on the ground in the Palestinian territories, she did what any loyal Bushie would do: She got back on the elliptical. ‘I thought, might as well finish exercising,’ Rice told Bumiller. ‘It’s going to be a really long day.’ It was one of the few times she was prescient on the Middle East.”

Illustration above by Noma Bar from a review of another Condi bio in the New York Times (via wonkette).

Condi on the Elliptical [the gist]
Just like most of us, Condi learns about major international news from the t.v. She is clueless. [americablog]
NY Times Scales New Heights in Mean Condi Caricatures [wonkette]

Condoleezza Rice Confronted by “Blood-Stained” Anti-war Activist [tr]
Condi Biographer: “I Never Came Close to Finding a Female Lover” [tr]