Condi's Comeback: Concerned About 'Where the Country is Going'

Image: Condi's Comeback: Concerned About 'Where the Country is Going'

Wednesday, 26 Mar 2014 12:04 PM

By Melanie Batley

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Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is re-emerging on the public stage, with appearances at high-profile events, efforts on the campaign trail, and foreign policy commentary in a bid to influence the country's political agenda.

Rice, who has kept a low profile since the end of her service under former President George W. Bush, is headlining the National Republican Congressional Committee's annual fundraising dinner on Wednesday, an honor usually reserved for potential White House contenders, The Hill reported.

"She's very concerned with where the party is going, where the country is going, and that's why you're seeing her engaging," Georgia Godfrey, Rice's chief of staff, told The Hill. "What she's going to do this cycle is really support the party, help empower leadership and help the party win back Congress."

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Earlier this month, Rice penned an editorial in The Washington Post about the need for American leadership in Ukraine, and said the crisis should be a "wake-up call" for those who think America doesn't need to assume the responsibilities for being a world leader.

Rice said in her article that the United States cannot "step back, lower its voice about democracy and human rights and let others lead."

Rice also placed blame squarely on the Obama administration for giving Russian President Vladimir Putin latitude to a point where he's "cleverly exploiting every opening he sees."
Meanwhile, Rice is also serving as co-chairwoman of the Bipartisan Policy Center's task force pushing for immigration reform, and has put forward views on education and energy issues in recent months, according to The Hill.

Rice has also been out on the campaign trail. She recently headlined a fundraiser for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and provided the keynote address at a California Republican party annual fundraising dinner earlier this month where she used the platform to call for the GOP to become more inclusive on issues such as immigration.

"We have a responsibility to those who do not yet have the liberties and the rights that we enjoy," Rice told a cheering crowd. "We cannot abandon them ... We were once them."

Rice also used the speech to highlight a number of key themes she believes Republicans need to focus on, including individual freedom, private sector-led growth, and equal access to quality education.

This week, Rice also made her first endorsement of the 2014 election cycle, backing her former National Security Council employee, Dan Sullivan, in the Alaska Senate campaign against Democrat Sen. Mark Begich.

Rice is appearing in a statewide campaign ad for Sullivan, describing him as "tireless" in his defense of the United States.

"He showed that in his service in the military, and he showed that in his service in the White House and in the State Department," Rice says in the $180,000 ad paid for by the political action committee, American Crossroads.

"Now Dan faces political attacks because he wanted his family by his side. Remember that serving our country required some time in our capital. Dan will be a great senator because he loves and cares for the state of Alaska, and he's a great family man," she says in the ad.

Rice is not interested in returning to Washington or running for office, to the disappointment of some of her admirers, according to The Hill. For the time being, she is a fellow at the Hoover Institution and a professor of political science at Stanford University.

She also serves on a number of corporate boards, and last fall, she was appointed to the NCAA’s college football playoff selection committee, the only woman on the 13-member panel, The Hill reported.

Republicans are welcoming her return to the political limelight.

"Condoleezza Rice is a very good example of a public servant utilizing all sorts of different ways to participate in the process without having to run for office," former Bush White House press secretary, Dana Perino, told The Hill. "She really is a superwoman."

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