Rice returns to White House for audience with another president
Condoleezza Rice, secretary of state to former President George W. Bush, returns to the White House this afternoon for a chat with the man who succeeded her boss, President Barack Obama.
It’s not totally unheard of for presidents to chat with predecessors’ Cabinet members. And the one-on-one in the Oval Office is probably just a show of respect for a former U.S. foreign policy leader.
But the private meeting was at least worth raising even half an eyebrow, although observers didn’t quite know what to make of it. (Obama does like to cast a wide net for advice on foreign policy, economics and other issues).
Rice is on a tour for her just published book about her childhood — “Condoleezza Rice: A Memoir of My Extraordinary, Ordinary Family and Me” — and has been giving media interviews to promote it.
CNN reports that before the White House meeting, Rice said in an interview that the invitation from a sitting president to a former Cabinet member is “not that unusual” and that they would discuss a range of foreign policy issues. “It’s whatever the president wants to talk about,” she told CNN.
The White House said the meeting was expected to last about 30 minutes. Our White House correspondent Caren Bohan tells us that Rice had chatted with Obama before his election about foreign policy, including a phone call during the campaign before Obama’s July 2008 trip abroad.
“She was going to be in town, and the president obviously couldn’t make her book party later today. But he wanted to bring her in and have a chat with her. I’m sure they’ll talk about a wide range of foreign policy issues,” White House spokesman Bill Burton said.
Wonder if the president will get a signed copy of her book…
Photo credit: Reuters/Bobby Yip (Rice speaks during lecture on “The Future of Asia” in Hong Kong, March 19)