Tuesday, December 06, 2005

American Politics' GenNext

Condi Rice is facing a barrage of criticism for her stout defence of the CIA secret prisons that the U.S. maintains across Eastern Europe. Yet, as she tours the continent, her personal popularity ratings are soaring to an all time high. Despite Laura Bush's denial, speculation is rife that Rice will take on Hillary Clinton for the 2008 presidential race. A staunch conservative, Rice has admirers across the political spectrum for her intelligent espousal of views and for being one of the sharpest National Security Advisers in U.S. history. She has managed to deflect attention from the current controversy by admitting the policy of rendition exists but adding that this is the only way "to take terrorists out of action", thereby earning a groundswell of support for a measure that has human rights activists up in arms.

As the first black female NSA in history and thanks to her humble origins, Rice inspires hope in countless Americans for whom she is no less than a political rock star. An article in AARP details her background:

Condi's mother, Angelena, who died of breast cancer in 1985, descended from slaves and slave owners, including an Italian emigre who came to America to buy slaves just five years before Emancipation. "That may give you a clue as to why so few of us have any business sense," Condi once quipped to me. After graduating from college, Angelena taught math, science, and oratory at a Birmingham high school where she met Condi's father, who was a football coach.
With plenty of money and no one better to spend it on, they indulged their only child, who inherited her taste for fancy clothes from her mother, who loved to shop. She joined the Girl Scouts, took private language lessons (French and Spanish), and read stacks of books. And there was her music: even while Birmingham was plunged into racial torment, she was taking advanced classical piano at the Birmingham Conservatory- a first for a black youngster- and practicing hours a day. Even back then her discipline was extraordinary. At St. Mary's Academy in Denver, the first integrated school Condi attended, she was a straight-A student and a competitive ice skater. Her typical day: up at 4:30 a.m., hit the rink at 5, practice until 7, then school, piano, back to the rink for an hour, then more piano.

Despite such fiascos as Iraq, Rice has emerged as that member of the government to whom no charge sticks. She has high personal integrity, which combined with conservatism, always makes for a deadly cocktail (a fact Arundhati Roy will gladly attest to). We see this phenomenon in our own BJP/RSS old guard: the Advanis and Sudershans of the world.

There, a black woman is the face of the hawkish neo-con agenda of the U.S. government. Ironies never cease.

1 comment:

deepali mukherjee said...

laura bush must be jealous. condi is the nest president of the US. the very first in both - black and woman.