When I saw the New York Times headline "As Her Star Wanes, Rice Tries to Reshape Legacy," I really wasn't prepared for the amount of vitriol about to be heaped on the current Secretary of State.
In the end, I was sorry I even looked.
Helene Cooper's piece on Saturday began by addressing a May 25 article in the Stanford Daily, the newspaper of Stanford University, which discussed the possibility that Condoleezza Rice could return to the highly-regarded institution when President Bush's second term is over in January 2009.
Rather than citing one word from the article, Cooper instead shared reader reactions to it (emphasis added throughout):
Within hours, the letters to the editor started coming in. "Condoleezza Rice serves an administration that has trashed the basic values of academia: reason, science, expertise, and honesty. Stanford should not welcome her back," wrote Don Ornstein, identified by the newspaper as an emeritus professor of mathematics in a letter published May 31.
Online comments on the newspaper's Web site were even harsher, a veritable stream of vitriol. One of the milder posts came from Jon Wu, who did not give an affiliation: "Please go away, Rice. We don't want someone who is responsible for the slaughter of an entire nation teaching at our school."
This was one of the milder posts? Hardly, for here are some that Cooper chose not to share with her readers:
rick on 5/25/07 at 7am
Head of Hoover Institute?
Often politicans when their party out of power "park" themselves in a think tank until there party returns to power.
I think Stanford is "too small" for Condi. She needs to run a corporation or university now.
Hey on 5/26/07 at 2am
To everyone above except "As Stiff As a Plank"-
What the hell is wrong with you people? A former Provost and Secretary of State may return to the University and you can't see beyond... what? Your own wierd prejudices. You guys are an embarrasment to the University. It's a testiment to the sad politicization of our political culture (which this administration has certainly aided and abetted) that any mention of Condoleeza rice brings out the angry whack jobs.
Crazy liberals on 5/26/07 at 6pm
A small group of delusional students will not stop Dr. Rice from coming back to campus, nor will it stop other students from hearing her point of view. Go back to protesting sweaters or find something else to complain about.
Hypocrisy rules on 5/28/07 at 11am
Isn't it interesting how quickly the so-called liberal "tolerance" disappears when put to the test?
Great job Daily on 5/29/07 at 1am
For censoring any comment that isn't a bunch of liberal trash.
I guess Cooper missed those comments supporting Rice's return to Stanford. Sadly, that was just the beginning of the assault:
There was a time when, perhaps more than Hillary Rodham Clinton or Barack Obama, Condoleezza Rice seemed to have the best shot at becoming the first woman or the first African-American to be president. But that was before she sounded public alarms based on faulty intelligence to justify the Iraq war, telling CNN, "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud." It was before a former top Bush administration colleague, David Kay, charged with finding unconventional weapons after the Iraq invasion, referred to Ms. Rice in Bob Woodward's "State of Denial" as "probably the worst national security adviser since the office was created."
And it was before furious Lebanese hung a huge banner depicting Ms. Rice's face, with blood dripping from her lips, from a bridge in central Beirut.
Incredible. So, a protest sign in Lebanon has diminished Rice's future political opportunities? How disgraceful.
But Cooper wasn't done:
Richard L. Armitage, Mr. Powell's deputy secretary of state, said he became so frustrated that he once went to the White House and complained privately to Ms. Rice that he felt like he was getting on a "gerbil wheel" every morning "and nothing would be resolved, and we'd get off at night, and the next morning we would get back on and do it all over again."
Cooper chose not to share with her readers that Armitage was the person who leaked Valerie Plame Wilson's name to columnist Bob Novak, and opted to keep this quiet for years as others within the administration were being investigated for doing so. I guess as Cooper didn't feel it necessary to share any of the supportive comments about Rice at the Stanford Daily, Armitage's disgraceful behavior concerning the Plame scandal was similarly unimportant.
But there was more:
These days, the flood of Condi-versus-Hillary-for-president spoofs on the Internet have died down. Her approval ratings, while still higher than those of the rest of the administration and Mr. Bush himself, have dipped, to about 47 percent in July from 54 percent in April 2005. And few people are talking about "Rice for president" anymore.
Cooper was once again leaving out pertinent information, for in the most recent Gallup poll taken August 13 - 16, Hillary Clinton received the exact same favorability rating of 47 percent.
Think Cooper believes that's bad for the Democrat presidential nomination front-runner? No, I don't either.
Finally, Cooper chose to ignore Forbes' just-released list of "The World's 100 Most Powerful Women" wherein Rice came in fourth compared to Hillary's 25th. In fact, Rice was considered by Forbes as America's most powerful woman.
In the end, it seems Cooper and some disgruntled Stanford students are much more concerned with Rice's future than most Americans.