November 8th, 2007
10:00 AM ET
15 years ago

Clinton: Rice is good, but she's not enough

Clinton wants more diplomats.

NASHUA, New Hampshire (CNN) - At a Granite state town hall, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton pledged to end the "era of cowboy diplomacy," and criticized the Bush administration for their unwillingness to send diplomats other than Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice.

Clinton expressed concern over the crisis in Pakistan and shared with the audience that she had suggested in January for the President to send a senior diplomatic envoy to assuage tensions between the Afghani and Pakistani governments.

Instead, Clinton said, " Cheney went out, read everybody the riot out, about you behave, you do this, you do that. Left. That was the end of it."

"You have to laugh to stop from crying," Clinton said with frustration. "It seems like we have one diplomat, Condi Rice. She's an able woman, but she can't cover the entire world, and yet that's the only person that President Bush apparently is willing to send anywhere."

Clinton described U.S. foreign policy as "tainted" and damaged by the administration's disregard for international norms, treaties and conventions. She then added, "Their attitude is that somehow the United States not only should, but must, go at it alone. That's not going to work."

Responding to Clinton's comments, Republican National Committee spokesman Brian Walton said, "The same Hillary Clinton that can’t take a consistent position on Iraq, opposes the monitoring of phone calls of terrorists that want to kill Americans, and follows the lead of when it comes to funding our troops has no credibility when it comes to national security issues."

- CNN New Hampshire Producer Sareena Dalla

soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Wynter, Loudon, NH

    I would have to wholeheartedly concur with her on this. The weakest part of this administration has been it's lack of diplomacy. She gave Condi credit as a knowlegable Sec. of State. But that only works if you have a State Department that is going out and doing its job. And in this case, Bush has persued the tactic of saber-rattling and no diplomacy everytime. Condi is not doing her job period. And with two fronts already deep in war, we don't need two more, Iran and Pakistan. So get to work!

    Telling it like I see it,

    November 8, 2007 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  2. David, Dallas Tx


    Condi Rice was the strongest force for moderation in Bush's government, providing a sorely needed counterpoint to the neo-cons who dominated Bush's first term. SHE advocated dialogue and diplomacy when Cheney and Rumsfeld advocated isolation and militarism. Unlike Powell, she managed to resist the neo-con's efforts to remove her, and is now considered by many to be Bush's most influential advisor, which probably explains why we're only in two wars right now.

    She doesn't set policy; she executes policy. She also tries to influence policy, but the final decision is Bush’s, not hers. Don't blame her for his short-sightedness.

    Tim in Philadelphia said, I wish Condoleezza Rice were running for President on the Republican ticket this year.

    If she was running and Obama wasn't, I might actually vote Republican. It's not about race (I'm white) it's about those two having so much intelligence, integrity, and common sense. I couldn't give two cents about race, being the hard core liberal that I am.

    November 8, 2007 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  3. Phil Chicago, Ill

    Hillary – Condi is TWICE the woman you will ever be. She doesn't need a fake marriage to a filandering ex-President to get name-recognition and respect.

    She went to an All-Girls school (St Mary's Academy) but never resorts to the "boys against the girls" sexist baiting.

    She has worked for President Carter, President Bush (#41), President Bush (#43) and HAS 30 years of REAL experience – not the kind you have (first-lady of Ark, US).

    Condi faced REAL discrimination growing up in the African American community. You grew up privileged and continue with your arrogance and sense of entitlement.

    Condi stands with dignity in the face of psychotic protestors (Code Pink). You, on the other-hand, shout down constituents asking a tough question and discredit them by calling the a "plant".

    Hillary – you couldn't hold Condi's briefcase! If Condi is an "able" woman, you're DIS-abled.

    November 8, 2007 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  4. JD, Houston, TX

    Secretary of State is the highest ranking diplomt (if you will). She is both the highest ranked cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence.

    Richard, thanks for clearing that up. To more accurately describe condi then..she is the most ineffective inept highest ranked cabinet member and diplomat. (and that's sayin' a lot when you're talking about the bush admin.)

    November 8, 2007 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  5. Jose Card, NY

    Secretary of State Dr. Rice has my full respect. She is not just good. She is excellent. If she were to run, she would not have us waiting for her credentials till after the election.

    Is Senator Clinton running out of ammunition or anything of substance to talk about? I am still waiting for how you will SERVE our country.

    It's alarming that Senator Clinton has to compare notes with Bill for whatever she has said or will say. We need a true leader for the Oval Office, which sits ONE only. Are we going to add a second chair for Bill? When the White House has a charismatic interfering husband, it will be a nightmare in management of any organization, never mind a nation. If you don't believe me, just ask anybody in management. There will be a lot of confusions even if Bill doesn't get reckless again. Any other Dem candidate would have been a better bet than the Clintons.

    November 8, 2007 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  6. Ray, Rochester

    Uh huh...sure...that's why the Bush administration worked with China, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and England to secure North Korea's commitment to dismantle their nuclear weapons programs.

    Wasn't it Bill Clinton's "go it alone" strategy with North Korea that was a total failure and led to the North's development of at least five nuclear weapons? The same strategy endoresed by idiot John Kerry?

    Last I checked, we had our people in North Korea taking apart their nuclear facilities. Something her husband was never able to do.

    Let's not forget about the Bush administration's success with Libya, as the former state sponsor of terrorism dismantled their chemical weapons programs.

    Hillary couldn't wait to rush to the podium as the debate to use force against Iraq was raging. She couldn't wait to pound her fist and say she was positie Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and needed to be forced to give them up! Of course later on we find out that she never even read the NIE detailing all of the intelligence on Iraq.

    She has the nerve to lecture the Bush administration???!!!

    She is an idiot.

    November 8, 2007 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  7. Jun, Los Angeles, CA

    Get us back on track, Hillary!

    Clinton 08!

    November 8, 2007 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  8. Matt, Pennsylvania

    So where are all the feminists now? Isn't this sexist? Seriously, she's attacking Condi for doing a poor job, and Condi is a woman, so it has to be sexist.

    She then added, "Their attitude is that somehow the United States not only should, but must, go at it alone. That's not going to work."

    So what is going to work? Really, what would Hillary do? I don't know, and I really don't think she does either. But she is good at criticizing without making any real suggestions.

    November 8, 2007 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  9. AJ, Chicago IL

    I agree with Phil of Chicago. If we truly went by resume only in our selection of President, Condi would beat Hillary hands down. How has Hillary brought opposing groups together to solve an important issue? The only major public stage event that I am aware of is her 1990s National Health Care debacle in which had a GW Bush mentality. Its my way or the highway!

    November 8, 2007 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  10. Richard, Ewing, NJ

    Ron from TX watched too many movies. There are good reasons why we have a department of state for foreign policy and there are greater reasons why past presidents do not conduct diplomacy until the very last stage. Your idea of letting presidents be the diplomats is more navive than letting presidents take on the role of a field commanders during war time. Even presidents with great military experience, like George Washington and Dwight Eisenhower, do not command troops when they are presidents. Bill Clinton will tell you that one of the biggest mistakes he made is getting involve with the Oslo Accords too immature.

    November 8, 2007 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  11. Roger, Santa Maria, CA

    HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN HER MARXIST VIEWS EXPRESSLY DISPLAYED DURING HER COLLEGE YEARS; AND NOW YOU WANT TO ELECT HER AS PRESIDENT. COME ON!!! Her beliefs, which she clearly demonstrates on her campaign trail, are too obvious; MARXIST! Vote her in and watch this country go straight to the eternal firery death!

    November 8, 2007 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  12. John, Euless, TX

    Go Hillary Go!!!!!!

    November 8, 2007 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  13. jimmy, buda, tx


    Posted By JULIET.MTN. VIEW.CA : November 8, 2007 10:59 am

    Written like a true genius, you make a great point. I would still like to know what she will do diferent.

    November 8, 2007 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  14. joseph, austin, tx

    Lets kill two birds with one stone, Dr. Condoleza Rice for president. Seriously I would vote for her over any clown running today.

    November 8, 2007 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  15. Dave, Austin

    No matter who gets elected President, things will not change for the better. Mark my words.

    God help us.

    November 8, 2007 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  16. Megha

    I'm not even from this country and I can see what good image US had under Clinton's time. If you guys want to get this country in a good international standing, you need to put her in office.

    GO HILLARY '08

    November 8, 2007 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  17. Virginia Goettelman, Indian Wells, CA

    The only people in the entire world who can solve all the problems are Bill and Hillary Clinton!!!! They have all the answers! Should they not have a ready answer, they will think of one the next day and declare it is what they meant, by what they said. Come again? Well, you know "IS" is such an ambiguous word. "Waltz me around again, Hilly"/"Willy".

    November 8, 2007 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  18. Liberal Chic

    Hey, y'all. She's not disparaging Rice. Rice is cool. She is an exceptionally smart and able woman, much like Clinton. As the NSA and Secretary of State, she hasn't been very effective, though. She cowtows too much to Bush.

    Rice is admirable, but don't knock Hillary Clinton down in comparison. They are both good, respectable people and neither has said anything bad about the other.

    November 8, 2007 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  19. Chip Celina OH

    Re good friend:

    Where have we "gone it alone"?

    Six nation talks for North Korea. Initially, several nations in Iraq and Aghanistan. We are essentially "going it alone" in Iraw right now since most everyone else has bailed on us, but there are still some Brits remaining.

    I guess I need an example of where we've "gone it alone" to support Mrs. Clinton's assertion.

    Hope you have a good Friday.

    November 9, 2007 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
  20. DEF, Norfolk Va

    Just more finger pointing, and no resolve. Amazing how people can believe in nothing more than – more of the same old thing.

    November 9, 2007 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  21. Rodney Dallas TX

    ARe you people seriously of bunch of boneheads? Hillary was giving Condi a compliment. Geez. Why can't you just accept the compliment as it being just that. Hillary is right. Condi is an awesome intelligent woman but she can't do everything. I wish Condi was not so far up Bush's a** to realize that he is not right for America but I do respect her intelligence.

    November 9, 2007 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
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