RICE AND KERRY….I have, roughly speaking, been pleasantly surprised by Condi Rice’s performance so far as Secretary of State ? especially considering her miserable performance in Bush’s first term as NSC director. She’s kept John Bolton away from Foggy Bottom, she’s pushed foreign leaders in useful ways, she’s been open to diplomatic initiatives, and she seems to have avoided missteps while retaining a moderating influence on her boss.

Brad Plumer isn’t as enthusiastic, but he does make the useful point that when you look at what Rice has actually done, she seems to have adopted the Kerry/Edwards campaign platform almost wholesale:

Most of these steps were things that John Kerry was practically pleading with George W. Bush to take all during the 2004 campaign. Now fair enough, the election’s over, and it’s hard to get upset over the fact that the Bush administration has essentially adopted Kerry’s foreign policy, after spending a year telling the electorate how weak-kneed it was, and how unsafe it would make America. I just wish the press would actually make note of this fact, so that, you know, they could call foul the next time a presidential candidate gets depicted as a flower-strewing wimp for pointing out that, hey, maybe doing nothing while Kim Jong Il develops nuclear weapons isn’t the best idea after all. But that’s probably hoping for too much.

Yeah, that’s hoping for too much. But it would be nice if someone at least noticed.

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